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Infectious Arthritis

Overview :

Infectious arthritis can occur in any age group, including newborns and children. In adults, it usually affects the wrists or one of the patient's weight-bearing joints-most often the knee-although about 20% of adult patients have symptoms in more than one joint. Multiple joint infection is common in children and typically involves the shoulders, knees, and hips.

Some groups of patients are at greater risk for developing infectious arthritis. These high-risk groups include:

  • Patients with chronic rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Patients with certain systemic infections, including gonorrhea and HIV infection. Women and male homosexuals are at greater risk for gonorrheal arthritis than are male heterosexuals.
  • Patients with certain types of cancer.
  • IV drug abusers and alcoholics.
  • Patients with artificial (prosthetic) joints.
  • Patients with diabetes, sickle cell anemia, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Patients with recent joint injuries or surgery, or patients receiving medications injected directly into a joint.

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