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:
- Infections in another part of the body, such as within bone (known as osteomyelitis)
- Chronic arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or osteoarthritis
- Previous joint damage
- A history of recent steroid injections into the joint
- Hepatitis B.
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 ArthritisThere are several types of infectious arthritis. The most common type is septic arthritis, or arthritis caused by certain types of bacteria. Other types include:
- Tuberculosis arthritis
- Fungal arthritis
- Viral arthritis
- Spirochetal arthritis (seen in people with Lyme disease or syphilis).
(Click Infectious Arthritis Causes for more information, including specific bacterial, viral, and fungal causes.)