Celtic’s Paul Pierce Out for Two Weeks with Knee Injury

Boston Celtic’s guard Paul Pierce will be out for two weeks following a procedure on his right knee. Pierce reported had an infection in that knee which was limiting his mobility over the past month. He underwent arthroscopic irrigation of the knee, by Celtic’s orthopedist Dr. Brian McKeon, at New England Baptist Hospital on Tuesday. Basketball operations president, Danny Ainge says that there wasn’t any structural damage to the knee, but that Pierce needed to have the knee cleaned out and would also be receiving antibiotics.

The knee is essentially a modified hinge joint located where the end of the thigh bone (femur) meets the top of the shin bone(tibia). The knees provide stable support for the body. They also allow the legs to bend and straighten. Both flexibility and stability are needed to stand, walk, run, crouch, jump, and turn.

Knee Joint

Medically, an inflammation in the knee (or any other joint) caused by a germ (bacteria) is called septic arthritis. The knee is the most common joint affected. Septic arthritis is caused in one of three ways:

1. Bacteria from an infection elsewhere in the body (such as a bladder, upper respiratory, or skin infection) travel through the bloodstream to the joint (MOST COMMON)
2. The joint is directly infected with bacteria during by an injury to the joint
3. A puncture wound, drug injection or surgery near a joint may allow bacteria into the joint (LEAST COMMON).

The most common bacterium involved is called Staphylococcus aureus.The symptoms include fever, and a joint that is red, warm, swollen,tender and has limited mobility. Treatment is with antibiotics, usually intravenously. Without treatment, there can be permanent damage to the joint.
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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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