Joint Infections

Bacterial joint infections, also known as septic arthritis, are a painful infection of the ligament of a joint. They occur most commonly in large joints such as the knee, hip or shoulder. This condition is very serious if not treated quickly and effectively. The condition begins with pain and swelling of the joint but eventually escalates into deterioration of cartilage, causing permanent damage to the affected area.

What Causes Joint Infections?

Like any infection of the skeletal system, septic arthritis is most commonly caused by infections transferring from another part of the body or complications involved in surgery. It is critical to monitor any joints after surgery to ensure there are no signs of infection. If you experience chills, fatigue, fever or difficulty moving a joint, you need to talk to a doctor before the condition progresses.

Artificial joints are also at risk for infection. Between one and five percent of joint replacement surgeries result in infection. While most prosthetic infections occur early in the recovery process, it is not unusual for infections to develop later. Because there is generally some pain associated with joint replacement recovery, the best way to diagnose prosthetic joint infections is to monitor the joint fluid after surgery. If left untreated, prosthetic infections may lead to amputation or the removal of hardware.

How are Joint Infections Treated?

Septic arthritis is one of the most difficult infections to treat effectively. Because of the difficulty to connect symptoms with the condition, the sensitivity of the region, and the need for complex antibiotics, joint infections are some of the most serious infections we treat.

Luckily, Serge Lartchenko, MD, and the team at Texas Infectious Disease Institute are experts in antibiotic treatment. Partnering with medical centers throughout Plano, Richardson, Garland, and McKinney, Texas Infectious Disease Institute has developed a trusted relationship with the North Dallas medical community. Trust the practice other doctors turn to for their infectious disease challenges. Schedule an appointment now.

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