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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 any damage.
Last Revised: June 5, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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