Arthritis Home > Infectious Arthritis

Infectious arthritis, as the name implies, is caused by infections (such as with bacteria or a virus). There are several different types; the most common is septic arthritis, which is caused by a bacterial infection. In general, this is not a long-term condition and can often be cured. Treatment differs, depending on the cause. Options may include medications, joint drainage, surgery, and splinting the joint.

What Is Infectious Arthritis?

Infectious arthritis is a general term used to describe forms of arthritis that are caused by germs such as bacteria or viruses.

Who Gets It?

Anyone can get infectious arthritis, regardless of their age or gender. However, some groups of people are at a higher risk, such as alcoholics and IV drug addicts. Others at a higher risk for developing the condition include people with:
Other people at a higher risk for infectious arthritis include those who:
  • Have had certain procedures, such as knee replacement, hip replacement, or knee arthroscopy
  • Work in jobs where exposure to plants, animals, marine life, and soil is common.

Types of Infectious Arthritis

There are several types of infectious arthritis. The most common type is septic arthritis, or arthritis caused by certain types of bacteria. Other types include:
(Click Infectious Arthritis Causes for more information, including specific bacterial, viral, and fungal causes.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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