Symptoms of Infectious ArthritisAny joint can be affected by this disease. Yet the specific symptoms of infectious arthritis (along with their severity) will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The age of the person
- The joint or joints involved
- The specific cause (i.e., bacterial, viral, or fungal)
- Other conditions the person may have.
For example, a person with septic arthritis may have an extremely painful hip or knee with significant swelling. A person with gonococcal arthritis may have pain in multiple joints with an unexplained rash. A person with fungal arthritis may have mild joint discomfort in one joint.
(Click Infectious Arthritis Symptoms for more information.)
How Is It Diagnosed?There is no one specific test that can be used to diagnose infectious arthritis. Therefore, in order to make a diagnosis, the healthcare provider will typically ask a number of questions, perform a physical exam, and recommend certain tests.
Your healthcare provider may recommend:
- X-rays or other imaging tests
- Testing the synovial fluid
- A spinal tap
- Other tests.
Your healthcare provider will also consider other conditions that share a number of symptoms with infectious arthritis. Some of these conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Infectious bursitis
- Gout (gouty arthritis)
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Rheumatic fever
- Reactive arthritis (Reiter's syndrome)
- Psoriatic arthritis.
(Click Diagnosing Infectious Arthritis for more information.)