We tell you in the next article what is septic arthritis, the most severe form of arthritis. 

I invite you to find the answers to all your questions in the following article: what causes septic arthritis, what are its symptoms and how is this disease diagnosed. 

If you would like to know what the treatment of septic arthritis is and how to prevent its complications you came to the right place. 

We give you the steps you must follow to implement changes in your diet through natural treatment. Are you ready? Let us begin 

1. What is septic arthritis?

Septic arthritis according to a study conducted at Weill Cornell Medical College is an infection that occurs in a joint because of a bacteria or fungus.

It is one of the most severe forms of arthritis. Its characteristics include from disability to life risk.

The prevalence of septic arthritis has increased. The reasons for the increase are two: abuse of immunosuppressive medications and aging.

It is important to differentiate septic arthritis from reactive arthritis.

In reactive arthritis, joint inflammation occurs after the body suffers an infection in another part of the body: for example the urinary system.

In contrast, in septic arthritis inflammation and infection occur in the same joint.

How to identify psoriatic arthritis


The benefits of swimming for joints

2. What causes septic arthritis?

The infection or septic arthritis is caused by bacteria. Among the most frequent are: the species Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus. 

91% of cases of septic arthritis are due to these species.

2.1. Joint diseases

Septic arthritis occurs especially in diseases that cause structural problems in joints.

Some of the diseases are as follows:

  • rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • diabetes with Charcot’s arthropathy, diseases that produce discolored joints, fractures, and deformities.

Charcot’s arthropathy progresses to progressive destruction of bones and tissue.

  • gout that presents monosodium urate crystals in the joints that cause arthritis.

Other causes of septic arthritis are aging, prostheses, low social status. Additionally, drugs, alcoholism, corticosteroid injection and skin ulcers that reduce defenses and predispose to infections.

2.2. Form of transmission


The infection can be transmitted by blood or by entering into the body. Entry through the blood occurs in adults via urinary catheters, vascular interventions, use of injections or immunosuppressants.

Direct admission occurs from trauma, joint operation or infection or contaminated food. 

According to Cork University Hospital, cases of septic arthritis have been identified due to the consumption of contaminated food. The bacteria in food is salmonella found in meat and chicken. 

According to another study conducted at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, other foods that may be contaminated and trigger septic arthritis include pate and cheeses.

3. What are the symptoms of septic arthritis?

Symptoms of joints: 

  • Erythema (red coloring)
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Hot
  • Fever without chills
  • Reduced movements

According to a study at Lewisham University Hospital, symptoms occur for less than two weeks.  

Symptoms of septic arthritis can be minor in older adults, people with weakened immune systems and those who abuse drugs.

Especially septic arthritis affects the long joints and in half of the cases the knees. Other compromised joints include the hips, shoulders, ankle, elbow, wrist. 

More than one joint is affected in 22% of people with septic arthritis. When more than one joint is affected, meningococcal infection is common.

4. How is septic arthritis diagnosed?

Your doctor will indicate a study called arthrocentesis. In this procedure, the joint is punctured to then analyze the synovial fluid.

The analysis of the synovial fluid together with a blood study allows to know the bacteria that predominate in the joints. 

The synovial fluid analysis and blood study allow distinguishing septic arthritis from other types of arthritis.

The diagnosis of septic arthritis is made with a white blood cell count in synovial fluid of more than 50,000 cells / mm3. An increase in white blood cells indicates that the body’s defenses are affected. 

Other tests that may help the diagnoses are the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein, indicators of inflammation in the body. 

The results of these tests can then evaluate the response to septic arthritis treatment. 

Radiographs can be useful for detecting fractures or inflammatory arthritis, effusions, as well as ultrasound scans. Additionally, they allow distinguishing other health problems from septic arthritis. 

The benefits and effects of laser therapy for arthrosis


Overview of the most effective injections for arthritis

5. What is the Treatment?

5.1. Medications for septic arthritis

The treatment for septic arthritis consists of antibiotics. In the beginning, broad antibiotics are chosen to cover the possible microorganism that causes the infection. 

If there are symptoms such as swelling, or fever, antibiotic treatment is started. It is not a good idea to await the results of blood and synovial fluid tests because the infection progresses.  

After the results of the blood tests, the treatment is chosen according to the type of bacteria. Vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins are frequently used as cefepime.  

In the case of immunosuppressed patients, vancomycin is recommended together with third-generation cephalosporins. 

The modifications to the treatment are made after the analysis of synovial fluid.

It is important to meet the treatment period recommended by the doctor, which can vary from 2 to 4 weeks. 

If you have a prosthesis, the doctor will evaluate if it can be preserved. You may require antibiotics if the prosthesis is not removed. 

5.2. Joint drainage

The elimination of bacteria from the joint is an important component of the management of septic arthritis. Joint drainage should be done quickly. 

Speed ​​is necessary because the infection occurs closed as an abscess. In addition, inflammatory cells release substances that degrade cartilage and inhibit its synthesis.

There are 3 drainage procedures: closed needle aspiration, arthroscopic drainage or open surgical drainage.

Closed needle aspiration is used in less severe cases and joints of the feet and hands. It is less invasive than surgical drainage and has a faster recovery of movements.

The other two options are recommended for knee and shoulder joints. 

After joint drainage, the synovial fluid is evaluated and it must have less bacteria and white blood cell count. If this does not occur, it may be necessary to repeat the drain.


5.3. Food for septic arthritis

The treatment of risk factors such as arthritis or osteoarthritis and diabetes allows to prevent septic arthritis.

According to Pune University, among the natural remedies, it was evident that ginseng is anti-inflammatory and useful for septic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The ginsenosides present in ginseng have an immunosuppressive effect which allows the fight against autoimmune diseases.

Another antiseptic and antirheumatic herb is the rue that contains rutin and quercetin. Rue through its components has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. 

According to the University of North Carolina, glycine, an amino acid in proteins such as soy, reduces the symptoms of septic arthritis. Soy decreases swelling, edema, and prevents erosion. 

In this sense, a diet high in anti-inflammatory substances such as a diet with high healing capacity allows to prevent and control septic arthritis. 

Septic arthritis is one of the most severe rheumatic diseases. Lack of infection control and arthritis symptoms complicate your joints.

6. Complications of Septic Arthritis

According to University Hospital Lewisham, the treatment of septic arthritis is important. When septic arthritis treatment is delayed or inadequate, it leads to irreversible joint destruction and disability. 

To avoid the consequences of septic arthritis, joint damage should be evaluated. Additionally, identify if the bacteria has multiplied and begin treatment quickly.

Patients with preexisting joint disease or infected joints spend more days in the hospital. In addition, they need several joint surgeries.

After discharge, patients with the preexisting joint disease have more recovery time. That is, they require more physiotherapy and longer hospitalizations in rehabilitation.

Half of the joints affected by septic arthritis have a poor outcome as an amputation, patients need prostheses or suffer severe deterioration in movements.

10% of patients lose their lives due to septic arthritis.


We have learned in the article what is septic arthritis, what is the cause, symptoms, diagnosis, medical treatment with medications, surgeries, and complications. 

A Specialized treatment for arthritis includes anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immunosuppressive foods and is effective for septic arthritis. 

You may also like this:

Septic arthritis, Septic arthritis,


Categories: ARTHRITIS


What is seronegative rheumatoid arthritis? - Arthritisco · February 21, 2020 at 12:09 am

[…] Septic arthritis […]

Causes of Knee Pain at Night - Arthritisco · February 29, 2020 at 6:32 pm

[…] Septic arthritis: This is a serious painful condition, followed by feelings of malaise and fever. The knee becomes infected and fluid must be drained for proper treatment. […]

Leave a Reply