Infectious Arthritis Symptoms

The type of infectious arthritis a person has will determine the associated symptoms. For instance, in addition to severe joint pain, people with septic arthritis may experience fever, cold sweats, chills, extreme tiredness, and lack of appetite. People with viral forms of infectious arthritis are more likely to experience symptoms in the small joints of the wrist and hand. Symptoms of infectious arthritis caused by a fungus generally affect the knee and progress slowly.

An Overview of Infectious Arthritis Symptoms

Infectious arthritis is a general term used to describe forms of arthritis caused by an infection. There are several types of infectious arthritis. The most common is septic arthritis, or arthritis caused by certain types of bacteria. Other types include:
  • Gonococcal arthritis
  • Tuberculosis arthritis
  • Fungal arthritis
  • Viral arthritis
  • Lyme arthritis.
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 type of infectious arthritis (e.g., septic, viral, or fungal)
  • Other conditions the person may have.

Symptoms of Septic Arthritis

Specific septic arthritis symptoms may include:
  • Severe pain within a joint. When septic arthritis develops in the hip, pain may be referred to the buttock, thigh, or knee.
  • Swollen and/or hot joint.
  • Decreased movement of the joint.
  • A noticeable limp.
  • Other common symptoms consistent with a bacterial infection, such as:
    • Fever
    • Cold sweats
    • Chills
    • Extreme tiredness
    • Lack of appetite.
Infants with septic arthritis may not have any localized joint pain; instead they will have a fever and be irritable. Others may have mild symptoms that can delay diagnosis for several months. This is more common in people with a history of knee replacement or hip replacement.
(Click Septic Arthritis Symptoms for more information.)
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Infectious Arthritis Information

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