Septic arthritis (also known as bacterial arthritis or pyogenic arthritis) is caused by a bacterial infection within a joint or joints. Symptoms may include severe pain within a joint, a noticeable limp, and fever or cold sweats.
This type of arthritis is considered a medical emergency because without prompt treatment, the condition can cause permanent damage to the joints involved. It can also cause septic shock, a potentially fatal condition.
Treatment for bacterial arthritis typically involves the use of antibiotics. In some cases, treatment may also involve draining the infected joint.
(To learn more about this topic, click Septic Arthritis. This article discusses risk factors, prognosis, and more.)