Infective arthritis may represent a direct invasion of joint space by various microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mycobacteria, and fungi. Reactive arthritis, a sterile inflammatory process, may be the consequence of an infectious process located elsewhere in the body. Although any infectious agent may cause arthritis, bacterial pathogens are the most significant because of their rapidly destructive nature. For this reason, the current discussion concentrates on bacterial septic arthritides. Failure to recognize and to appropriately treat septic arthritis results in significant rates of morbidity and may even lead to death.
Because of the increasing use of prosthetic joints, infection associated with these devices may be the most common and challenging type of septic arthritis encountered by most clinicians.
Synonyms and related keywords:
reactive arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, bacterial septic arthritides, bacterial septic arthritis, suppurative arthritis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, N gonorrhoeae, Staphylococcus aureus, S aureus, Streptococcus viridans, S viridans, Streptococcus pneumoniae, S pneumoniae, group B streptococci, crystalline arthritis, Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis, prosthetic joint infections, PJI, rheumatoid arthritis
John L Brusch, MD 2006