So technically speaking, anything that causes inflammation of a joint is a type of arthritis.
Infectious arthritis is caused by a germ that travels through the body to a joint. The germ can be a bacterium, virus, or fungus, and germs can enter the body through the skin, nose, throat, ears, or through an open wound.
Who Can Get It
Anyone can develop infectious arthritis but people with chronic conditions that make it hard to fight off infection are more susceptible. People who have pre-existing arthritis are also more prone to developing infectious arthritis because:
- Germs target damaged joints as opposed to healthy joints
- Infection is also a possible complication following joint replacement surgery.
- Any medication that suppresses the immune system increases the risk of infection
It’s important to know the warning signs for infectious arthritis so that treatment can begin quickly. The warning signs are slightly different, depending on whether the germ is a bacterium, virus or fungus.
Bacteria warning signs include:
- pain and swelling is very localized (generally, in one particular area of the body)
- symptoms develop suddenly
Virus warnings signs include:
- pain that is described as “all-over,” not localized
- no fever, usually
Fungus warnings signs include:
- pain and swelling develop slowly, over an extended period of time
- pain and swelling may be all-over or localized mild fever
Get Treatment Promptly
Infectious arthritis is not typically a chronic condition. With prompt and accurate treatment, infectious arthritis usually resolves. With delayed treatment or no treatment, joint damage may become permanent and the infection can spread to other body parts.
If infectious arthritis attacks the joints in your hands and fingers you will soon discover that trying to hold a pen to write is difficult and painful. Never fear – you can still write easily by using an ergonomic pen.
The UGLee Pen is designed to allow your hand to relax – this pen actually grips you, so there is no need to force cramped hands and swollen joints to hold hard to a pen.
Source: Carol Eustice, about.com