Munson Health
 
Septic Arthritis

Back to Document

by Kirchheimer S

(Bacterial Arthritis; Infectious Arthritis; Pyogenic Arthritis)

 

Causes

Septic arthritis develops when bacteria spreads from the source of infection through the bloodstream to a joint. It can result from:
  • Infection due to an injection
  • Surgery
  • Other infections
Septic arthritis can also be caused from injury or trauma. It can result from:
  • A penetration wound
  • An injury that affects the joint
  • Joint surgery/replacement
Septic arthritis can strike at any age. However, it occurs most often in children aged three and younger. In infants, the hip is a frequent site of infection. In toddlers, it is the shoulders, knees, and hips. In children, the most common bacterial causes are:
Septic arthritis rarely occurs from early childhood through adolescence. After that, it occurs more often. In adults, it most commonly affects weight-bearing joints, such as the knees. In adults, the most common causes are:
  • S. aureus
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae—the bacteria that causes gonorrhea
Joint Damage in Knee
Knee arthitis
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
 

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of developing septic arthritis include:
 

RESOURCES

The Arthritis Foundation
http://www.arthritis.org

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease
http://www.niams.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Arthritis Society of Canada
http://www.arthritis.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Ernst AA, Weiss SJ, et al. Usefulness of CRP and ESR in predicting septic joints. South Med J. 2010;103(6):522-526.


Howard A, Wilson M. Septic arthritis in children. BMJ. 2010;341:c4407.


Ma L, Cranney A, et al. Acute monoarthritis: what is the cause of my patient's painful swollen joint? CMAJ. 2009;180(1):59-65.


Septic arthritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated April 11, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2013.


Septic arthritis. Patient UK website. Available at http://www.patient.co.uk/health/septic-arthritis-leaflet. Updated April 28, 2010. Accessed August 6, 2013.

 

Revision Information