NOTE: Among the factors implicated in bone loss are a decrease in estrogen in
women, calcium deficiency, malabsorption of calcium, vitamin D deficiency, loss of
muscle mass, and inactivity.
SEPTIC ARTHRITIS (SA)
Septic arthritis is a medical emergency, a condition caused by bacteria invading
a joint and then causing the synovial lining of the joint to become inflamed. The
bacterial organisms can enter the joint cavity causing liquid from that cavity to escape
into a body cavity; the liquid containing bacteria causes pus formation. Septic arthritis
can lead to ankylosis (abnormal immobility and fixation of a joint). This disease can
even be fatal if bacterial organisms enter the body systems.
a. Signs/Symptoms of Septic Arthritis. The onset of SA is sudden with these
signs and symptoms: intense pain, inflammation swelling of the affected joint, and low-
grade fever. SA can develop in any joint, but it usually attacks large joints and small
b. Treatment of Septic Arthritis.
(1) Administer antibiotic therapy by phvsician's orders; for example, Gram-
negative penicillin, gram-positive nafcillin, or gram-negative bacilli ampicillin.
To relieve pain, you may give codeine or propoxyphene.
(3) Monitor progress of the patient by frequent analysis of joint fluid cultures,
synovial fluid leukocyte counts, and glucose determinations.
This condition is a metabolic disease characterized by an excess of uric acid in
the urine. Gout usually occurs in the feet and legs and causes joints to be painfully
a. Normal Causes of Gout. Normally, nucleic acids are catabolized, and uric
acid is produced as waste. Some individuals produce too much uric acid while others
excrete too little uric acid. In both cases, uric acid accumulates in the body and tends to
solidify into crystals that are deposited in the joints and kidney tissue. Gouty arthritis is
the term for the condition caused wthen these crystals are deposited in joints.
b. Other Causes of Gout. The tendency to gout can be inherited. Other
causes of gout include renal problems (kidney problems) and overuse of diuretics.
Dehydration and starvation make the condition worse. Individuals who have gout can be
gout free for years. The condition is not necessarily constant.