In less common cases, a surgery, drug injection, or puncture wound around or inside the joint can allow germs to enter the joint cavity. It's unusual for individuals to experience injuries that cause such direct access to the joint, which is why this method of infection is much rarer than infection from the bloodstream. Experiencing joint trauma puts individuals at a higher risk of developing septic arthritis, even if the wound doesn't appear to be on the joint itself. While deep punctures are the most common methods of infection, it's possible shallow wounds might also lead to germ transmission. The risk also increases if the cause of the injury was unsanitary. For example, animal bites or punctures from dirty needles can transmit germs much more easily than clean cuts. If an individual is injured around or on their joint, it's important for them to clean and bandage the wound as soon as possible. They should also monitor it closely for signs of infection.