What is the pathogenesis of septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 19, 2017
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Organisms may invade the joint by direct inoculation, by contiguous spread from infected periarticular tissue, or via the bloodstream (the most common route). [14]

The normal joint has several protective components. Healthy synovial cells possess significant phagocytic activity, and synovial fluid normally has significant bactericidal activity. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus hamper the defensive functions of synovial fluid and decrease chemotaxis and phagocytic function of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Patients with deficiencies of the terminal components of complement are susceptible to neisserial bacteremia and joint infections.


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