When dealing with painful, inflamed joints, the primary diagnosis to consider is septic arthritis. Failure to address and treat the problem correctly can lead to severe damage to the affected joint. Monoarthritis refers to the effects of arthritis being felt in one particular joint. This article will give an overview of the approach to diagnosis, symptoms, underlying causes and other information related to this painful condition. Treatment for the condition will depend on the underlying cause.
In order to correctly diagnose the condition, a doctor will look to examine the symptoms and find out whether there are any symptoms present that are related to infection. The doctor will also need to find out whether the patient suffers from any rheumatological disease. It will also be necessary to find out whether the patient has previously suffered from psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease or sexually transmitted infection. If there are any other symptoms, such as rash, myalgia, headache or visual disturbance, then these should be investigated. Inflammation of the eyes is another symptom of the condition. Should any previous surgery to the affected area have been undergone, it will be necessary to consider this as a potential cause of the pain. Swelling, deformity or erythema are all symptoms of this condition.Causes
Patient history will generally help in the diagnosis of the cause. If the pain tends to remain for days or even weeks, then it is like that it is caused by osteoarthritis, synovial infiltration or atypical infection. Sudden, rapid pain will indicate a mechanical cause. On the other hand, pain that manifests and lasts for hours might point to sepsis, inflammatory conditions or crystal arthropathies.
If a patient is experiencing eye irritation, diarrhea or rash, then it is likely that there is an inflammatory, reactive or vasculitic cause. In those who use steroids or intravenous drugs, septic arthritis can occur as a result of immunosuppression. Previous attacks of arthritis might point to a possible diagnosis of gout as the root cause. The use of diuretics or a history of kidney stones can also lead to the same diagnosis. Shin rash might indicate erythema nodosum or sarcoidoses.
Drug and alcohol abuse can also be potential causes, as can sexually transmitted disease. If a patient has a history of rash or migratory arthralgia, it is possible that the condition might be related to gonococcal arthritis.
Haemarthrosis is a possible diagnosis for those who suffer from a bleeding disorder or who are taking anticoagulants.