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The Musculoskeletal System, Part 1


Septic arthritis is a medical emergency, a condition caused by bacteria invading a joint and then causing the synovial lining of the joint to become inflamed. The bacterial organisms can enter the joint cavity causing liquid from that cavity to escape into a body cavity; the liquid containing bacteria causes pus formation. Septic arthritis can lead to ankylosis (abnormal immobility and fixation of a joint). This disease can even be fatal if bacterial organisms enter the body systems.

a. Signs/Symptoms of Septic Arthritis. The onset of SA is sudden with these signs and symptoms: intense pain, inflammation swelling of the affected joint, and low-grade fever. SA can develop in any joint, but it usually attacks large joints and small peripheral joints.

b. Treatment of Septic Arthritis.

(1) Administer antibiotic therapy by phvsician's orders; for example, Gram-negative penicillin, gram-positive nafcillin, or gram-negative bacilli ampicillin.

(2) To relieve pain, you may give codeine or propoxyphene.

(3) Monitor progress of the patient by frequent analysis of joint fluid cultures, synovial fluid leukocyte counts, and glucose determinations.

Important Medical Disclaimer

It is not the intention of SweetHaven Publishing Services or its affilates to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide students of medical technology and allied health professions with information that is helpful for their education and pursuit of their profession. The information provided here is to not be construed as medical advice, and SweetHaven Publishing Services urges visitors outside the medical professions to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to their personal questions.

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