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What is septic arthritis? 

Septic arthritis is inflammation of a joint caused by a bacterial infection. It’s also known as infectious or bacterial arthritis.

Any joint can be affected but it’s most common in the knees and hips. More than one joint can be affected at the same time.

Most people make a full recovery after treatment. Wit-hout treatment, septic arthritis may lead to permanent joint damage and can become life threatening.

Septic arthritis typically causes severe pain, swelling, redness and heat in affected joints. These symptoms tend to develop quickly over a few hours or days.

You may also have difficulty moving the affected joint, and some people have a high tempe-rature (fever).

Young children with septic arthritis will generally be irritable and may cry whenever the infected joint is moved – for example, during nappy changing. They may also try to avoid using or putting any weight on affected joints.

If you suspect septic arthritis, see your GP or visit your local accident and emergency (A&E) department as soon as posible.