Complications of septic arthritis can often be minimised or the risk reduced through administering the necessary treatment but where septic arthritis misdiagnosis has occurred this can lead to the risks increasing. A late septic arthritis diagnosis can mean that vital treatment is delayed, which in turn can lead to joint degeneration and, in some cases, permanent damage to the affected joint.
Complications that can be caused by septic arthritis include:
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that is caused by bacteria and it can have serious complications if not treated adequately, including gangrene and the need for amputation in rare circumstances. It can occur when an infection spreads to the bone via the bloodstream and presents similar symptoms to septic arthritis.
Bony erosions is the term for the loss of bone from disease processes. In cases of misdiagnosis of septic arthritis where treatment has been delayed, it is possible for bony erosions to occur due to the condition.
Fibrous ankylosis affects the connective tissue, fusing together two bones. It can result in reduced mobility when it affects joints.
Sepsis is a potential complication of an infection, including septic arthritis. It is rare but very serious and can lead to multiple organ failure and death quickly if it isn’t diagnosed and treated swiftly.
Due to the potential complications of septic arthritis, including sepsis, it is possible for the condition to be fatal. As a result, the wrong septic arthritis diagnosis can have serious implications for those involved and should be treated quickly.
The potentially life-altering and life-threatening complications mean that those affected by a missed septic arthritis diagnosis may be able to make a failure to diagnose claim, reflecting the undue suffering their level of care has caused.