Septic Arthritis - Diagnosis

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What tests and exams did you have that led to a diagnosis of septic arthritis?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white circle:

How is septic arthritis diagnosed?

Septic arthritis is diagnosed by identifying infected joint fluid. Joint fluid can easily be removed sterilely in the office, clinic, or hospital with a needle and syringe. The fluid is analyzed in a laboratory to determine if there is an elevated number of white blood cells to suggest inflammation. A culture of the joint fluid can identify the particular microbe and determine its susceptibility to a variety of antibiotics.

X-ray studies of the joint can be helpful to detect injury of bone adjacent to the joint. MRI scanning is very sensitive in evaluating joint destruction. Blood tests are frequently used to detect and monitor inflammation. These tests include the white blood cell count, sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein.

Return to Septic Arthritis

See what others are saying

Comment from: frank, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 06

My knee started to hurt one night and by next day I was in agony. After 3 trips to Accident & Emergency, 2 to the doctor and 3 to a fracture clinic (unbelievably) they finally took a blood test. I was admitted and had 2 washouts and was on a drip for 3 weeks. I had a manipulation 2 months later, spent 10 months unable to walk without severe pain and finally had a knee replacement. Septic arthritis is bad news.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Aussie74, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I strained my back during spring cleaning. When it hung on over a week, I had an ultrasound which showed nil, so I continued with corticosterone therapy. Eight weeks later I had another scan that showed huge changes. Pain levels were through the roof and other symptoms neither of us saw developed (doctor or I). Doctor didn't pick it up but when he sent me back to get another procedure-guided injection of cortisone, the radiologist said to have that much change in ultrasounds 2 months apart meant something was seriously wrong. After hospital admission and so many tests, it was found to be septic arthritis and was on 12 weeks of intravenous and then oral antibiotics. I'm under 40 with lowered immune and hypothyroidism/obesity/depression/Herpes 2. I swear my eyes and brain degenerated or were affected in some way, apart from the advanced degeneration in my disc. I wonder if that is possible.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors