Septic Arthritis of the Knee


This condition occurs when harmful bacteria infect the knee joint, causing pain and swelling, and damaging the healthy tissues in the joint. Any joint in the body can become infected, but the knee is the most common.


Septic arthritis can be caused by an infection anywhere in the body that travels through the bloodstream and into the joint. A cut or puncture wound to the knee, as well as an unsterilized needle injection, can also introduce bacteria to the joint and cause infection.


Symptoms of septic arthritis include severe pain in the knee joint, especially during activity, swelling, redness around the knee, lack of mobility, fever and chills.


Treatment options can include antibiotics, draining infected synovial fluid from the joint through a needle, cortisone injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, use of a splint or brace, exercise, and modification of daily activities. Surgery may be needed.