Infections can indeed occur in the shoulder joint, leading to various shoulder joint disorders. The most common type of infection affecting the shoulder joint is septic arthritis, also known as infectious arthritis or bacterial arthritis. Septic arthritis of the shoulder occurs when bacteria or other infectious agents invade the joint space, causing inflammation and subsequent damage. The infection can occur through direct penetration, such as from a penetrating wound or surgical procedure, or it may spread from another infected area in the body through the bloodstream.
Symptoms of septic arthritis in the shoulder may include severe pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and limited range of motion. Systemic symptoms such as fever, chills, and malaise may also be present. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent further joint damage and systemic complications.
Treatment typically involves a combination of antibiotics and drainage of the infected joint fluid. The choice of antibiotics is based on the suspected or identified causative agent, and sometimes a joint aspiration is performed to obtain a sample for culture and sensitivity testing. In severe cases or when conservative measures fail, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove infected tissue, repair any damage, and restore joint function.
It is worth noting that shoulder joint infections are relatively uncommon compared to other joint infections, such as those affecting the knee or hip joints. However, they can still occur, particularly in individuals with certain risk factors such as a weakened immune system, pre existing joint conditions, or a recent shoulder injury or surgery.
If you suspect a shoulder joint infection or are experiencing persistent shoulder pain and inflammation, it is important for you to seek medical attention. Dr Rajesh Malhotra will evaluate your symptoms, order any necessary diagnostic tests, and provide appropriate treatment options based on the specific diagnosis.