It can be a surprising fact to you but morbidity is not a new thing to be found in kids and infants these days. The significant reason leading this to happen is considerably bone and joint infections among them. Bone and joint infections are common to be found among kids of up to 10 years of age. These infections in children are a subject to worry and should get timely treatment. But as every other disease, bone and joint infection also come with certain misconceptions in people which make them question things like does it need total knee replacement and will it damage the leg completely? Can’t it be treated by itself over time? Is my kid abnormal or deficient?
To clear out these misconceptions, read till the end about it in very detail. Here you will get all answers and significant knowledge regarding bone and joint infections in children.
What is bone and joint infection?
Bone and joint infections are common names for the musculoskeletal infections which are most commonly found in young kids and infants. These infections occur when a bacteria enters the body and gets a way through the musculoskeletal system. These infections should not be taken lightly because if not treated on time, they can lead to severe results like –
1: Diseases like arthritis, joint stiffness or any other deformity which can lead to posture and movements related difficulties.
2: The bacteria can stream into blood and other organs causing deadly diseases.
3: Permanent damage in joints, bones or growth plates.
4: Cause chronic bone fractures.
However, these infections do not need surgery directly in most of the cases thus before searching for the best general surgery hospitals, it is better you search for a paediatric orthopaedic doctor or paediatric infectious disease specialist first.
Symptoms of bone and joint infections
Generally, kids can’t explain exactly what they are feeling or what problem could they have, which makes it important to keep an eye on their symptoms which may include –
– Continuously increasing pain in limbs or joints that reaches to severity at a point.
– Inability to carry even easily bearable weight through the affected limb.
– Pain on the affected area on touching.
– Redness and swelling at the spot of pain.
– Fever, fatigue and general malaise.
How are such infections diagnosed?
There are different approaches depending upon the conditions and doctor’s choice. But according to the best general surgeon in Delhi NCR, following are the ways of diagnosis that are generally considered.
– Physical test – Physical test is a normal routine examination that doctors usually use to check overall health. It is not particular to bone and joint infections but they can work.
– Blood test – Sample of the kid’s blood is taken to examine the presence of bacteria.
– X-ray – To have a look at an inside image of the body to identify the spot of infection if present.
– Others – Other methods like computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to create images of the insides of the body to determine if there is any inflammation. The process is easy but some kids may require anaesthesia for it.
Once the presence of infection is confirmed, fluid is taken out to test through needles from the joints and in case of bones, biopsy is done to know specifically which bacteria has caused the infection.
Treatment of bone and joint infections
An affected child needs to be treated by an experienced paediatric infectious disease specialist and an orthopaedic surgeon. However the treatment is easy and simple but if a lot of damage is caused and the whole bone is damaged, the doctor may ask you to opt for a replacement surgery. For instance, if the knee is damaged, you’ll be asked to have the best knee replacement implant.
In most cases, the kids are treated with intravenous antibiotics while they stay admitted for a short duration. After discharge, they are expected to complete an oral antibiotic course for a few weeks at home. However some children get PICC lines in which a line is inserted for intravenous transfer of antibiotics in body regularly. Nevertheless, in the end it depends on you, the circumstances and the doctor’s approach. There is no obligation for a PICC.
Over the years, many major aspects of such infections like their treatment and diagnosis have remained the same while some other aspects have evolved and are still evolving. But it does not mean that you have to be scared off by such infections. These infections are treatable, do not leave any side-effects after treatment and the treatment too is not at all dangerous. It can be treated with antibiotics and other easy medications. However, it does not mean that they are not hazardous. So do not believe any misconceptions, don’t take bone and joint infections lightly, neither scare off nor step back from taking a treatment. Go and fearlessly get your little ones diagnosed and treated if you are in doubt.