Infectious arthritis is a form of inflammation in the joints caused by certain types of microbes. 
As a rule, these microorganisms are not found on the human body. They live in the air, raw foods, plants, animals, litter and soil. At first, harmful microorganisms enter the bloodstream, from there they move to the joints or any other place suitable for survival. Sometimes bacteria enter the connective tissue of the joints directly through the wound. Most often, 1 joint is affected, but 2 or 3 joints may be involved. The most vulnerable are large compounds.Types and therapy of infectious arthritis

The main causes of the development of the disease

The path of infection of the joints is most often metastatic, that is, the pathogenic microorganism penetrates through the hematogenous or lymphogenous route. Infectious arthritis is caused by:

  1. Most types of infectious joint pathologies caused by bacteria. These include gonococci, some gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms, spirochete. Staphylococci are the second most common cause. This type of disease is called post-streptococcal arthritis.
  2. Infection occurs when there is a viral infection in the body. Viral arthritis causes infectious hepatitis, mumps, and mononucleosis. Rubella and lupus can also affect its development.
  3. Septic arthritis caused by fungi develops very slowly. Types of fungal infection: histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, sporotrichosis, blastomycosis, candidiasis.

Bacteria are the most significant pathogens due to their rapid destructive nature. The disease is becoming more common among people with immunocompromised and elderly people.

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Clinical signs of the disease, depending on the cause

Patients diagnosed with septic arthritis complain of fever and impaired joint function. Symptoms develop over several days to several weeks. Fever usually has a low-grade character.

Signs of bacteria

Purulent arthritis is very dangerous, especially in women, since it is difficult to detect

Gonococcus – a bacterium that causes gonorrhea and purulent arthritis. Gonorrhea is sexually transmitted, primarily affects the genital area. However, the bacterium can travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. As a rule, purulent arthritis affects large joints, affects the tendons, synovial bag. Signs of the disease in women are difficult to notice, so there is a delay in the diagnosis, which allows the infection to spread to other organs through the bloodstream. Purulent arthritis caused by gonococcus causes the following symptoms:

  • chills;
  • fever;
  • abdominal pain in women;
  • discharge from the penis and vagina;
  • tendon inflammation;
  • joint pain;
  • redness and swelling.

This type of disease should be treated as soon as signs are noticed to prevent serious joint damage. Staphylococci, streptococci, and pneumococci (gram-positive bacteria) cause meningitis, pneumonia, and abscess. They gradually infect the joint joints, causing severe inflammation. Purulent arthritis caused by staphylococcal infection is manifested by such signs: discharge of pus, swelling, pain.



Gram-negative bacterium Hemophilus causes severe pain in the joints. It is one of the causes of infectious joint disease in children.

How do viruses and fungi manifest themselves?

With viral arthritis, all symptoms go away quickly. He is characterized by such signs:

  • soreness;
  • inflammation;
  • redness;
  • edema.

Septic arthritis caused by a viral infection involves both large and small joints in the pathological process. Symptoms can be detected at the same time as the rash appears, or they appear a little later. Viral arthritis lasts up to 2-3 weeks, then quietly disappears.

Fungal infectious arthritis is unnoticed. It is difficult to detect without an X-ray examination. In the picture, capsule distention and edema of periarticular tissues are noticeable. Inadequate treatment will lead to rapid cartilage degeneration.

Diagnostic examination of the patient

Visit your doctor right away to help you make the right diagnosis.

To determine if a person has infectious arthritis, the doctor must first conduct a physical examination. Be sure to inform the therapist about recent trips, contact with an infected relative. After familiarization with the patient’s medical history, an X-ray examination is performed. You may need an MRI or CT scan to find out how seriously the disease has damaged the joints. It is very important to identify the specific microbe that caused infectious arthritis. Bacteria and fungi can be found in synovial fluid, blood, urine, or in the tissues of an infected area. In most cases, a biopsy is performed, in which a piece of tissue is taken from the joint. This material is examined in a laboratory under a microscope to determine the type of bacteria or fungus. If the patient has purulent arthritis, it is necessary to drain the synovial fluid and examine it.

Viral arthritis is usually diagnosed by symptoms and medical history. A blood test is taken to confirm the diagnosis, which shows an increase in antibodies in response to a viral infection.

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How to cure the disease?

Treatment of infectious arthritis will depend on the cause of its development. Methods of treatment include the use of strong antibiotics, drainage of infected synovial fluid from the joint. With purulent arthritis, its treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis. Other types of illnesses can be treated at home.

For example, if a patient has viral arthritis, then treatment is usually not required. At the moment, there is no cure for this type of disease. It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids and relax more.

Therapy of a disease provoked by bacteria

Septic arthritis caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotics. Antibacterial agents are designed to fight various bacteria. The choice of drug depends on the type of microorganism. Antibiotics are taken orally or intravenously.

Only a doctor will help you prescribe antibiotics

Staph infection is treated, the introduction of antibiotics intravenously for 4 weeks is required. If a patient is diagnosed with septic arthritis due to staphylococcus entering the joint cavity, the treatment may include the use of the drug “Rifampicin”. However, you should be aware that this agent should not be used alone because of the rapid development of bacterial drug resistance. Be sure to check with your doctor if you see “Rifampicin” in the list of medicines.

Streptococci became more resistant to Penicillin, so doctors prescribe to take a combination of Penicillin and Gentamicin or later generations of cephalosporins. With gonococcal infection, antibiotic therapy lasts up to 2 weeks. He is treated with Doxycycline and Azithromycin.

Often antibiotics kill the infection within a few days. The soreness caused by infectious arthritis and symptoms such as fever, inflammation and swelling no longer bothers the patient. But this does not mean that treatment can be stopped. Taking the medicine takes as much time as the doctor considered necessary. Even if the symptoms of the disease no longer bother, bacteria may still be present. Without destroying them completely, re-infection will occur, threatening complications.


Therapy of a disease provoked by a fungus

Fungal infections are very difficult to treat. They are very difficult to eliminate from the body, so often the disease can recur. Fungal arthritis is treated with antibacterial drugs or sulfonamides. The most effective drug used to treat fungus in the joints is Amphotericin B. The medicine is toxic, therefore its use is limited. The duration of therapy takes 6-12 weeks. Sometimes you need to perform a simple operation to cleanse infected joints.

Fungal arthritis with a late start of treatment takes a chronic course. Over time, the patient develops osteoarthrosis with a joint deformity or bone ankylosis. For any type of infectious arthritis, medications must be taken to increase immunity.

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