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Fungal Arthritis

An inflammation of a joint caused by a fungal infection.

Causes of Fungal Arthritis

Fungal or mycotic arthritis is a very rare condition and may be caused by any of the invasive fungi, including coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, cryptococcosis, candidiasis, and sporotrichosis. These organisms may affect bone or joint tissue. One or more joints may be affected.

The large weight-bearing joints, especially the knee, are most commonly affected. The infection usually occurs as a result of an infection in another organ, frequently the lungs, and tends to progress very slowly.

Symptoms  of Fungal Arthritis

  • joint swelling
  • joint stiffness
  • joint pain
  • arthritis
  • ankle, feet, and leg swelling

Signs and tests of Fungal Arthritis

A culture of joint fluid that grows fungus

  • A joint X-ray showing joint changes
  • A synovial biopsy showing fungus
  • Positive antibody test (serology) for fungal disease
  • Skin tests

Treatment of Fungal Arthritis

The objective of treatment is to cure the infection with anti-fungal medication. Amphotericin B or medications in the azole family (fluconazole, ketoconazole, or itraconazole) are frequently used anti-fungal medications.

Chronic or advanced bone or joint infection may require surgical removal (debridement) of infected tissue.

Complications of  Fungal Arthritis

Joint damage can occur if the infection is not treated.

Prevention of Fungal Arthritis

Thorough treatment of fungal infections elsewhere may help prevent fungal arthritis.


This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.


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