What are the most common causes of septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Bacterial septic arthritis is commonly described as either gonococcal or nongonococcal. [1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8] Neisseria gonorrhoeae remains the most common pathogen (75% of cases) among younger sexually active individuals. [9, 10]  Staphylococcus aureus infection causes the vast majority acute bacterial arthritis cases in adults and in children older than 2 years. [11] The increased incidence of this pathogen parallels the increase in prosthetic joints, intravenous drug abuse (IVDA), and the use of immunosuppressive agents. This pathogen causes 80% of infected joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

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