ZocdocAnswersWhy would I be experiencing joint pain all of the sudden?

Question

Why would I be experiencing joint pain all of the sudden?

28 year old male and suddenly I have joint pain. The pain in is in my hips, but I feel it in my knees and feet as well. Is this arthritis? Can arthritis come on suddenly like this?

Answer

From your brief history describing the symptoms, you may have a joint pain condition known as septic arthritis. Septic arthritis is inflammation of a joint that develops when bacteria, or less commonly fungi, spread through the bloodstream to a joint. The infection may occur elsewhere in your body, such as an upper respiratory tract infection or urinary tract infection, that spreads through your bloodstream to a joint. (In younger sexually active people, gonorrhea is a potential cause of septic arthritis). The most common sites for this type of infection are the knee and hip, though other joints can be affected by septic arthritis, including your ankle, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Symptoms usually come on quickly and suddenly. Do you have other accompanied symptoms such as fever and chills, joint swelling that is usually in just one joint, and an intense joint pain, which gets worse, especially when you move that joint? If treated within a week after symptoms first appear, you very likely make a complete recovery. If severe, you may need surgery to drain the infected joint fluid. The infection spreads rapidly so prompt treatment may prevent permanent damage to your affected joints. I recommend that you make an appointment with a primary care physician or a rheumatologist to confirm the diagnosis and be treated IMMEDIATELY.

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