Septic Arthritis Quiz

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Tomohiro Hamahata

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

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Learn more about Septic arthritis

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is septic arthritis?

Infection of a joint space. It can be caused by a wound that penetrates the joint, allowing bacteria to enter. It can also be caused by bacteria from distant sites, which travel via the bloodstream into the joint.

Symptoms of septic arthritis

  • Joint pain

  • Hands and feet feel hot

  • Fever

  • Difficulty moving the joint(s)

  • Swelling of the affected area

  • Joints are red, swollen or hot

  • Taking steroids

  • On medications that suppresses the immune system

Questions your doctor may ask to check for septic arthritis

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose septic arthritis

  • Do you have any joint pain?

  • Do your hands or feet feel hot?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Are your joints stiff and difficult to move?

  • Is the affected area swollen?

Treatment for septic arthritis

Treatment consists of cleaning out the joint with sterile water. This can be done through a keyhole surgery, or normal surgery. Antibiotics are usually given through a needle in the vein to prevent infection from spreading. In certain cases (e.g. joint replacements), the implant may need to be removed and later replaced.

View the symptoms of Septic arthritis


  • Ross JJ. Septic Arthritis of Native Joints. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2017 Jun;31(2):203-218. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Mar 30. PMID: 28366221.

  • Horowitz DL, Katzap E, Horowitz S, Barilla-LaBarca ML. Approach to septic arthritis. Am Fam Physician. 2011 Sep 15;84(6):653-60. PMID: 21916390.

  • García-Arias M, Balsa A, Mola EM. Septic arthritis. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Jun;25(3):407-21. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2011.02.001. PMID: 22100289.

  • Wall C, Donnan L. Septic arthritis in children. Aust Fam Physician. 2015 Apr;44(4):213-5. PMID: 25901405.

Reviewed By:

Tomohiro Hamahata

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

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