Orthopedic and Joint Infections

Many of our patient have prosthetic joints. Even when good and sterile surgical technique is used, some joints still get infected-sometimes immediately and sometimes much later. Treatment options vary greatly and depend on the cause of the infection. Joint infections often require IV therapy for around six to eight weeks. Following our mission to provide coordinated care with all of your physicians, management of such infections will be in conjunction with the orthopedic surgeon who referred the you.

Symptoms of Joint Infections (Septic Arthritis)

Septic arthritis is also known as infectious, bacterial, or fungal arthritis. The condition is an inflammation of a joint that's caused by infection. Typically, septic arthritis affects one large joint in the body, such as the knee or hip. Less frequently, septic arthritis can affect multiple joints. Symptoms of septic arthritis usually come on rapidly with intense pain, joint swelling, and fever. Septic arthritis symptoms may include:

  • Chills
  • Fatigue and generalized weakness
  • Fever
  • Inability to move the limb with the infected joint
  • Severe pain in the affected joint, especially with movement
  • Swelling (increased fluid within the joint)
  • Warmth (the joint is red and warm to the touch because of increased blood flow)

Diagnosis and Treatment

A simple procedure, known as arthrocentesis, is performed to determine whether or not your joint is infected. Treatment options can vary greatly depending on the severity of the infection and the pathogen, but typically, IV therapy is required for about six to eight weeks.