Septic Arthritis is also known as infectious arthritis, bacterial, or fungal arthritis. It is the purulent invasion of a joint by an infectious agent which produces arthritis. The condition is an inflammation of a joint that's caused by infection. Typically, septic arthritis affects one large joint in the body, such as the knee or hip. Less frequently, septic arthritis can affect multiple joints. Septic arthritis is considered a medical emergency. If untreated, it may destroy the joint in a period of days. The infection may also spread to other parts of the body.
Pathophysiology: The major consequence of bacterial invasion is damage to articular cartilage. This may be due to the particular organism's pathologic properties, such as the chondrocyte proteases of S aureus, as well as to the host's polymorphonuclear leukocytes response. The cells stimulate synthesis of cytokines and other inflammatory products, resulting in the hydrolysis of essential collagen and proteoglycans. Infection with N gonorrhoeae induces a relatively mild influx of white blood cells (WBCs) into the joint, explaining, in part, the minimal joint destruction observed with infection with this organism relative to destruction associated with S aureus infection.
Statistics: Septic arthritis is an infection that has a significant impact on our environment. Our case series presented an average of approximately 11 cases per year, with approximately 5 cases in which S. aureus was identified among the cultures. Eder et al., in a 17-year analysis from Israel, found only 110 confirmed cases, while in Switzerland, Clerc et al. encountered 83 cases in 10 years, considering only knees and hips.
S. aureus is the most common agent identified in cases worldwide, with higher prevalence rates reported in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the United States and South America. Some studies, such as those conducted by Frazee et al. in the United States and by Yamagishi in Japan