Septic Arthritis of Hip

Sometimes people around us complain about their pain on grow in area. Actually there are lots of reasons to have that kind of pain and septic hip can be one of them. A septic hip is aninfection within the hip joint. This is an uncommon problem, but it can occur in infants and young children. Septic hips are also called septic arthritis and infectious arthritis. Children with a septic hip have bacteria within the hip joint. The bacteria accumulates as pus and becomes severe painful.


Septic arthritis can develop when an infection such as a skin infection or urinary tract infection, spreads through your bloodstream to a joint. Less commonly, a puncture wound, drug injection, or surgery in or near a joint — including joint replacement surgery — can give the germs entry into the joint space.


Septic arthritis is an infection in the joint (synovial) fluid and joint tissues. Different types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi can infect a joint. Symptoms include –

  • Severe pain on hip joint.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue and generalized weakness.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling
  • Inability to move the limb with the infected joint.
  • Severe pain in the affected joint, especially with movement.
  • Swelling (increased fluid within the joint)
  • Warmth (the joint is red and warm to touch because of increased blood flow)

Quick treatment with antibiotics is needed to halt the risk of joint damage.


  • A procedure called arthrocentesis is commonly used to make an accurate diagnosis of septic arthritis. This procedure involves a surgical puncture of the joint to draw a sample of the joint fluid, known as synovial fluid.
  • Blood testing for septic arthritis may include peripheral WBC count and CRP. In cases of septic arthritis, results for all of these assays are generally elevated. Gout or other inflammatory processes may also cause these results, so further testing is required for definitive diagnosis.
  • X-ray of the joint with septic arthritis are usually normal in the first few days of infection as there is no joint destruction usually or may show a pre-existing joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.


  • Septic arthritis treatments include using a combination of powerful antibiotics aswell as draining the infected synovial fluid from the joint. It’s likely that antibiotics will be administered immediately to avoid the spread of the infection.
  • In chronic condition bones can break down so it’s very important for quick treatment.
  • Surgery may need to fix joint in chronic condition.

                           Physiotherapy Role in Septic Hip

Infection control must be the first priority. After that, patient can concern with a physical therapist for better solution of his/her movements.

During physiotherapy patient may go through some stretching and also some strengthening activities.

These are:

Manual therapies:

Towel stretch

  • Sit on the ground with the feet straight out in front.
  • Take the towel and wrap it around the toes on one foot.
  • Gently pull back until a stretch runs from the bottom of the foot up to the back of the lower leg.
  • Hold this stretch for 30–60 seconds.
  • Switch to the other leg and repeat.

Straight leg raise

  • While lying on your back, bend one leg while extending the other straight in front of you. It can apply with sitting on a chair.
  • Tighten the muscles on your leg and slowly lift your straight leg.
  • Hold your leg about a foot off of the floor and squeeze for 3-5 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg to the floor.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

Isometric strengthening

  • Patient may role out a towel. Place it below the knee gape. Than press the knee and hold for minimum 10 seconds.

Electrical therapies:

1: UST- It is a sound wave which passes through in deep tissues and also makes a resonance that increase blood circulation and release pain.

2: TENS- Electromagnetic wave that helps to reduce pain.

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