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Definition:

Fungal arthritis is infection of a joint by a fungus.



Alternative Names:

Mycotic arthritis



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Fungal arthritis, also called mycotic arthritis, is a very rare condition. It can be caused by any of the invasive types of fungi. These organisms may affect bone or joint tissue. One or more joints may be affected, most often the large, weight-bearing joints, especially the knees.

Organisms that can cause fungal arthritis include:

The infection usually occurs as a result of an infection in another organ, frequently the lungs, and tends to get worse very slowly. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to most causes of fungal arthritis.



Signs and tests:

Treatment:

The goal of treatment is to cure the infection using antifungal drugs. The most commonly used antifungal drugs are amphotericin B or medications in the azole family (fluconazole, ketoconazole, or itraconazole).

Chronic or advanced bone or joint infection may require surgery (debridement) to remove the infected tissue.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

What happens depends on the underlying cause of the infection and the patient's overall health. A weakened immune system, cancer, and certain medications can affect the outcome.



Complications:

Joint damage can occur if the infection is not treated promptly.



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have any symptoms of fungal arthritis.



Prevention:

Thorough treatment of fungal infections elsewhere in the body may help prevent fungal arthritis.



References:

Espinoza LR. Infections of bursae, joints, and bones. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 293.

Ohl CA. Infectious arthritis of native joints. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2005: chap 98.




Review Date: 11/11/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100