Commonly caused by staphylococcus
- Nearly always bacterial, but in rare cases can be viral or fungal
- Any joint that is hot, red and tender is a septic joint until proven otherwise! You must aspirate these joints! Septic arthritis can rapidly cause irreversible joint damage.
- Patient often (but not always) has systemic fever, and raised inflammatory markers (ESR and CRP)
Treatment (for staphylococcal): IV benzylpenicillin and flucloxacillin.
- You can also aspirate the joint for analgesia, as well as for diagnosis
- Suppurative arthritis – literally – ‘pus forming’ arthritis – this term is pretty much synonymous with septic arthritis. Sometimes also called Pyogenic arthritis.