Septic (Infectious) Arthritis
How does a doctor know my child has septic arthritis?
Prompt diagnosis of septic arthritis is necessary to prevent permanent damage to the joint.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for septic arthritis may include
- removal of joint fluid - to examine for white blood cells and bacteria
- blood tests - to detect bacteria
- phlegm, spinal fluid, and urine tests - to detect bacteria and find the source of infection
- x-ray - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film
- bone scan - a nuclear imaging method to evaluate any degenerative and/or arthritic changes in the joints; to detect bone diseases and tumors; to determine the cause of bone pain or inflammation
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. radionuclide scans - nuclear scans of various organs to determine blood flow to the organs.