When bacteria and other organisms enter the bloodstream, joints can become infected in a condition called 'septic arthritis'.
Infection may affect one or more joints, resulting in serious inflammation, pain and damage to the tissues in and around the joint. Usually the knees are affected, however the hips, ankle, wrist, elbows and shoulder may also be affected.
Young children and older adults are most likely to develop septic arthritis. Strong antibiotics are needed to treat the infection and limit damage. Frequently, surgical drainage (via arthroscopy) is required to remove pus.