Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Infectious arthritis is an infection in the joint. The infection comes from a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection that spreads from another part of the body. Symptoms of infectious arthritis include
- Intense pain in the joint
- Joint redness and swelling
- Chills and fever
- Inability to move the area with the infected joint
One type of infectious arthritis is reactive arthritis. The reaction is to an infection somewhere else in your body. The joint is usually the knee, ankle, or toe. Sometimes, reactive arthritis is set off by an infection in the bladder, or in the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. In women, an infection in the vagina can cause the reaction. For both men and women, it can start with bacteria passed on during sex. Another form of reactive arthritis starts with eating food or handling something that has bacteria on it.
To diagnose infectious arthritis, your health care provider may do tests of your blood, urine, and joint fluid. Treatment includes medicines and sometimes surgery.
- Blood Culture Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- Bone X-Ray (Radiography) (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- Complete Blood Count (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- HLA-B27 Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- MRI of the Musculoskeletal System (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- Reactive Arthritis Diagnosis (Spondylitis Association of America)
- Synovial Fluid Analysis (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- HCV and Rheumatic Disease (American College of Rheumatology)
- Reactive Arthritis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Reactive Arthritis (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
- What Is Reactive Arthritis? (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) Available in Spanish
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Late cardiac assessment in children diagnosed with post-streptococcal reactive arthritis:...
- Article: Septic arthritis in children: frequency of coexisting unsuspected osteomyelitis and...
- Article: Preoperative antibiotics for septic arthritis in children: delay in diagnosis.
- Infectious Arthritis -- see more articles