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Septic arthritis is a bacterial infection in a joint. The joint is
often red, hot, swollen, and tender.
The joint may become infected with bacteria after an injury or
surgery. Also, an infection from somewhere else in the body may travel through
the bloodstream to the joint.
Early treatment with antibiotics is important to prevent permanent
damage to the joint. Surgery is sometimes needed to clean the joint and repair
Current as of:
March 3, 2017
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
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