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Septic Joint

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Updated April 09, 2014

Definition: A septic joint occurs when a bacterial infection occurs in a joint space.

A joint is the connection between to bones. Joints include the knee, hip, shoulder, and dozens of joints in the spine. Any joint can become infected, but some are more common than others.

Septic joints are most common in infants and young children, immunocompromised patients, and people with joint replacements.

A septic joint is problematic for two reasons:

  • The body has a hard time fighting the infection because of a lack of immune defense within the joints.

  • Joint cartilage can be irreversibly damaged by joint infections.
Septic joints require urgent treatment. Treatment consists of draining the infection out of the joint space, often surgically, along with intravenous antibiotics.
Also Known As: suppurative joint
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  6. What is a Septic Joint? - Orthopedics Definition

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