JOINT INFECTION (Septic Arthritis)

SEPTIC ARTHRITIS (Joint Infection)

Septic arthritis, also known as infectious arthritis, bacterial, or fungal arthritis, is the painful inflammation of a joint resulting from bacterial infection. Septic arthritis is usually caused by the spread of harmful bacteria through the bloodstream which may have entered the body through the skin, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and mucous membranes. It can also be the result of a bacterial infection from an untreated wound or an opening from a surgical procedure.

Septic arthritis will typically affect one large joint in the body – the knee or hip for instance. In some cases, however, septic arthritis can affect multiple joints simultaneously. Symptoms include significant pain, swelling, fever, redness, and loss of movement. Early detection and medical care typically results in full recovery, but if left untreated, septic arthritis can severely damage the cartilage and bone within a joint, leading to joint disability and, in rare cases, septic shock.

Common Treatments and Procedures

Treatment involves a course of powerful antibiotics – initially administered intravenously to stop the spread of the infection, then, depending upon the severity of the case, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.

A procedure known as arthrocentesis is commonly used to accurately confirm the diagnosis of septic arthritis. In this procedure, your doctor will puncture the joint with a needle and syringe to draw a sample of synovial fluid (a sterile liquid that acts as a joint lubricant) to test it for infection. Once diagnosis is confirmed, arthrocentesis or arthroscopy can be used to remove any infected tissue and drain excess fluid from the joint to help to reduce pressure and eliminate harmful bacteria.

COVID - 19An update from our office
Dear Traverse City Orthopedic patients,

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are taking necessary precautions to do our part to prevent the spread of this illness by limiting our patient appointments over the next several weeks. If you currently have an appointment scheduled that is not of urgent nature, you will be contacted by our office staff.

We are mandated to perform pre-screening of any patient that presents to our office & you may be asked to reschedule based on the results.

To limit the number of people in our office at one time, we ask that anyone coming with you to your appointment remain in the vehicle unless you need assistance getting inside. We may also request that you complete your paperwork in your vehicle to keep with social distancing standards.

Furthermore, we are unable to board elective surgical cases until further notice is given to us by our local hospital & outpatient facilities.

We will be diligent in doing our part to abide by CDC guidelines and just want to remind everyone that hand washing, personal hygiene & social distancing are the best defense right now as we continue to learn more.

We will be limiting staff but will have systems in place to have your questions answered regarding your care.

Thank you for your understanding.