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Bacterial Arthritis: What You Should Know


Inflammation of a joint caused by a bacterial infection

The most commonly affected site for bacterial arthritis is the knee (45%).[1]

- Self-diagnosable
- Can be treated by a medical professional
- Lab testing and imaging usually required
- Medium-term: resolves within weeks or months

Also known as septic arthritis, it causes infection in a joint, seldom more than one. It is usually caused by the bacteria staphylococcus and streptococcus. This infection can spread through the bloodstream to the joint tissue from one part of the body to another or may also enter the body through surgery, open wounds, or injections. Gonococcal and nongonococcal arthritis (NGA) are the two types of this condition, NGA being more serious. If not treated timely, septic arthritis can permanently damage the affected joint.

Ages affected: Commonly young adults and elderly


Symptoms include inflammation of joints, with swelling and pain.

People may experience:
Joints affected: Knee, hip, ankles, or wrists
Whole body: Fatigue or weakness, fever, and chills
Also common: Redness, difficulty in joint movement, decreased appetite, irritability, and rapid heartbeat


Self-care: Proper rest should be taken in case of swelling of joints. Little amounts of exercise can help increase movement post infection.
Medication: Intravenous (IV) antibiotics may be given during the course of treatment. In certain cases, the doctor may drain out the fluid in a treatment called arthroscopy.

Specialist: For medical assistance, contact an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist. At mfine, we make sure that your healthcare provider knows your medical history to provide more holistic treatment options.

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