Septic arthritis, also known as bacterial arthritis or infectious arthritis, is an inflammation that occurs in the joints due to the presence of a bacterium or infectious agent in the body. Apart from swelling, this process presents other symptoms such as pain and redness in the affected area. In addition, fever may appear.
Normally, this inflammation is caused by bacteria and, to a lesser extent, by viruses or fungi. The treatment of septic arthritis will thus depend on the type of infectious agent that caused it. From, we are going to indicate the main treatments that a doctor could prescribe. But do not forget that you always have to go to the doctor.
Types of septic arthritis
Within septic arthritis, there are different types of infections, depending on the infectious agent that caused it. The most common is arthritis caused by bacteria, especially staphylococcus and streptococcus.
In addition, its origin may also be in other microorganisms such as Candida albicans and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, being called in these cases chronic septic arthritis. A pathology that is less frequent than the previous one.
Knowing the type that is suffered is essential to put the most appropriate treatment of septic arthritis. In general, the most common is to take antibiotics, although everything will depend on the age of the person, the joint that is affected and the result of the medical tests that have been carried out, among other aspects to be assessed by the doctor.
Initial treatment of septic arthritis
Before putting the treatment of septic arthritis, the doctor will need to perform a series of tests. The most common is a blood test and/or drawing fluid from the inflamed area. The objective is none other than to be able to determine which is the infectious agent that has originated the infection itself and the consequent inflammation, to prescribe the specific drugs.
Once the results of the tests carried out have been obtained, the antibiotic will be prescribed if the infection has been caused by a bacterium. If the infectious agent is a virus, antiviral drugs will be prescribed.
Initially, treatment to cure septic arthritis begins intravenously in order to prevent joint damage from occurring. Occasionally, it is necessary to drain the joint to remove fluid stored in the joint space.
Treatment of septic arthritis by joint injections
Joint injection to treat septic arthritis is used to apply the medication to a specific area and relieve pain and inflammation. The duration of treatment will vary depending on the infectious agent.
For example, when septic arthritis is caused by bacteria, treatment usually lasts between two and four weeks, although sometimes it is necessary for the patient to take the antibiotic orally afterwards for several days.
Drainage and surgery to combat septic arthritis
Treatment for septic arthritis may include drainage of synovial fluid in those cases that are more severe or where pus has been detected in the joint space. The goal of performing drainage is to remove the accumulated fluid and/or pus to prevent infection and inflammation from escalating.
When the treatment of septic arthritis with antibiotics, injections or drainage has not taken effect, it is possible to perform a surgical intervention to remove all the fluid or tissues that have been affected.
Septic Arthritis Treatment at Home
In addition to medications, when you have septic arthritis, it is convenient to take care of yourself at home. In general, you should rest to avoid further damage to the joint, in addition to protecting the joint from bumping or making movements. For example, a good solution is to make a splint that, in addition, will help reduce pain.
On some occasions, the doctor recommends doing a physical therapy, which consists of a series of specific exercises that will be taught in the medical center or will have you do with the help of a physiotherapist, in order to gain muscle strength and improve the movement of the joint affected by this disease.
From we hope to have helped you to know more about the treatment of septic arthritis, although it is always necessary that you go to the doctor both to determine the infectious agent and for the medical prescription.