If the infection is suspected to involve a joint cavity, there is a need for drainage, surgical clearance and irrigation of that space. At the slightest suspicion of septic arthritis, joint aspiration should be performed to evaluate the affected joint. If infected fibrinous deposits (cloudy aspirate) are present with positive cultures, then arthroscopic or open irrigation should be performed repeatedly, every 2-3 days, until the infection resolves. If arthroscopic clearance is unsuccessful, one should proceed
with open synovectomy.
If there is articular cartilage degradation, arthrodesis may become unavoidable.