All About Knee Infections: Signs and Treatment

All About Knee Infections: Signs and Treatment

Infections can occur anywhere in your body, including your knees. While some infections are mild and go away on their own, knee infections should not be ignored. Also known as knee sepsis or septic arthritis, they can lead to permanent damage or could even threaten your life without treatment. Thankfully, knee infections are treatable, and the sooner you get the care you need the better.

Our experienced team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, diagnoses and treats knee infections, often using a minimally invasive procedure known as a knee scope. Take a few moments to learn more about knee infections, including ways we can help.

Knee infection causes

Knee infections happen when harmful bacteria contaminates the fluid that lubricates your knee joint. While most anyone can develop one, you hold a higher risk if you have an inflammatory condition like arthritis, a traumatic injury involving your knee, or a compromised immune system. Having especially fragile skin or taking certain medications for rheumatoid arthritis can also play a role. 

Signs of a knee infection

Sepsis in your knee tends to be painful and uncomfortable, to say the least. Symptoms you might notice include:

These symptoms may diminish while you rest and flare back up once you’re trying to move around. And if your symptoms become severe, you could also experience knee dislocation. 

What to do about a knee infection

If you’re showing signs of a knee infection, prompt medical care is important. If you notice severe and sudden joint pain, seeking treatment soon enough can help prevent damage to your knee joint. 

At Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our team may recommend arthroscopic knee surgery or a knee scope to evaluate, diagnose, or treat your knee infection. During this procedure, your provider will insert a small, tube-like camera that projects images of the inside of your knee onto a screen for clear examination. 

If they detect a problem, they may insert tiny surgical tools to perform a treatment. In the case of a knee infection, they may use the scope to suction out infected fluid. Other treatments include antibiotics for 2-6 weeks or, if you have an infected artificial joint, surgical removal of the joint.

To learn more about knee infections or get the care you need, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website. 

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