Management of Septic Arthritis in Emergency Department
Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International
Bacterial arthritis is an inflammation of the joints caused by an infectious etiology, usually bacterial, but there are also fungi, mycobacteria, viruses, or other rare pathogens. Both healthy and predisposed people can be infected. Nongonococcal infectious arthritis, usually a monoarticular disease, affects multiple joints in about 10% of patients and is a new form of septic arthritis. Without treatment, it can progress rapidly and cause irreversible damage to the joints. The overall incidence
... of bacterial arthritis is 2 to 6 per 100,000, depending on the presence of risk factors. Bacterial arthritis is more common in children than in adults. The incidence of septic arthritis peaks between the ages of 2 and 3 and is predominantly male (2: 1). Most septic joints develop as a result of hematogenous dissemination of the vascular synovium due to bacterial episodes. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and corticosteroid therapy are the most common predisposing conditions. Typical symptoms of acute septic arthritis without gonorrhea include recent fever, malaise, and local findings of pain, warmth, swelling, and restricted mobility of the affected joint. Accurate history and assessment of risk factors can provide important clues for diagnosis. Careful assessment of risk factors can significantly change the likelihood of a provider developing septic arthritis prior to testing. Laboratory findings, diagnostic imaging, and synovial fluid assessment are all useful for diagnosis. Management components include early detection and treatment with joint aspiration, antibiotics, and orthopedic advice for possible surgical management. Widespread antibiotics are often needed due to the potential for rapid joint destruction. A combination of cefepime or anti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa beta-lactams and vancomycin is recommended to cover both Gram-negative and MRSA bacteria.