Infectious arthritis can spread through the bloodstream or from an infected joint because of bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
Acute infectious arthritis can damage cartilage in the joint within hours or days.
Symptoms of acute infectious arthritis include swelling and stiffening when fluid collects in the infected joint.
The joint becomes painful, especially when moving or touching something. Reddening and a warm feeling may occur in the joint. Fever and chills are known to occur.
Chronic infectious arthritis occurs in the knee, hip, elbow, wrist, shoulder, and fingers from bacterial, fungal and mycobacterial infection. Usually only one joint is affected, but it can sometimes be several.
Gradual swelling, mild warmth, and an aching pain may accompany chronic infectious arthritis. Some redness may occur.
Infectious arthritis can develop from certain health conditions such as a weakened immune system, or engaging in risky behaviors like intravenous drug use.
If you have diabetes or HIV-related diseases you have a weakened immune system. Consult your doctor early to see if antibiotics are necessary, and examine your joints for signs of infection on a regular basis.
Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of developing infectious arthritis because of joint damage and steroid injections sometimes used for treatment.
People who have undergone joint replacement are advised to tell doctors and dentists about the replacement before medical procedures. Antibiotics may be prescribed before the procedures.
Sexually transmitted diseases can cause infectious arthritis, so practicing safe sex helps to prevent the disorder.
What to Do
A healthy diet boosts the immune system to lower the risks of infectious arthritis.
If you notice pain or swelling of joints or other arthritic symptoms you should contact your physician immediately to avoid the effects of possible infectious arthritis.