Septic Arthritis of the Knee

Septic arthritis of the knee is a painful infection of the knee joint that causes debilitating inflammation. It occurs when germs travel through the bloodstream from another part of the body or from penetration, such as an animal bite.


Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections are the primary causes of septic arthritis of the knee. Staph infections are most common, but septic arthritis can also be the result of urinary tract infections, drug injections, or surgery near the joint.


Severe pain and discomfort are usually the predominant symptoms. Fever, redness, swelling, and limited mobility could also occur in septic arthritis of the knee. In rare cases, joint dislocation is possible.


Physicians will conduct a thorough physical examination in addition to reviewing symptoms and medical history. Blood tests and a joint fluid analysis will be used to determine blood infections. Imaging tests such as x-rays are also used to identify joint damage.


Septic arthritis of the knee is typically treated with antibiotics. Draining the joint with a needle is another method that may be effective. In severe cases, surgery could be required.

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