Treatments for Septic (Infectious) Arthritis in Children

Specific treatment for septic arthritis will be determined by your child's physician based on:

•   your child's overall health and medical history
•   extent of the condition
•   your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
•   expectation for the course of the disease
•   your opinion or preference.

Septic arthritis caused by bacteria usually requires immediate treatment with antibiotics, which can improve symptoms within 48 hours. However, certain infections caused by fungi need treatment with anti-fungal medications, while viral infections usually have to run their course without treatment. To prevent accumulation of pus from the infection, which can damage the joint, pus may be drained with a needle, tube, or surgery. Other treatment may include:

•   medications (for pain and fever)
•   physical therapy (to maintain muscle strength)
•   splinting the joint (to relieve pain).