Bacterial infection of any joint is called Septic Arthritis. This is common is children. Usually it is called by bacteria circulating in the blood which gets trapped inside the joint multiplying and creating chemicals which destroy it.
Septic Arthritis is a surgical emergency. If the child complains of pain, fever, swelling near a joint doctor’s consult should be done immediately.
The pain is severe and present even when child is resting.
If not treated immediately the joint will get completely destroyed by the chemicals the bacteria and inflammation produces. Treatment generally includes immediate surgical drainage of the pus to prevent damage to the joint and antibiotics for the specific bacteria which caused infection.
Many times patient may come several days or weeks after the infection and the joint would be in various stages of destruction or dislocation. This may also need surgery to try and salvage the joint or out the joint back.
Once joint is destroyed, the joint will either dislocate or become rough causing pain. Sometimes the bones near the joint may ‘fuse’ and there will be no movement at that joint.
Tuberculosis of a Joint
Tuberculosis can infect any joint and bone or spine.
Symptoms would be pain, fever, swelling and difficulty using the joint. If not treated early the joint is completely destroyed by the bacteria and the inflammation caused. Pus accumulates in the joint and joint movements become very much reduced. There will be pain and severe stiffness of the joint.
It is very important to identify Tuberculosis infection in bone and joint and to treat it early.
This is especially true if major joints like Hip, Knee and Spine.
There is a misunderstanding among some patients that Tuberculosis infection only occurs in Lungs and cough has to be one of the symptoms. It’s is important to understand that TB infection can occur in many organs including bone and joint.
Seek early treatment if there is joint swelling, pain and fever which is not reducing with regular medication.
The doctor may prescribe blood tests, scans like MRI if needed and X-rays if there is suspicion of TB.
The treatment includes medical care with anti Tuberculosis medications, rest, exercise and surgical treatment of there is dislocation or destruction of the joint.