Infectious arthritis (septic arthritis) is caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection inside a joint. The infection may be caused by an illness or may spread from an infection in a wound near a joint.
The large joints, such as the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows, are most often affected. Infectious arthritis usually affects one joint, but it can affect many joints. Symptoms may include:
Immediate treatment with antibiotics and, possibly, surgical drainage of the affected joint can prevent the spread of the infection, the destruction of the joint, and even death.
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