The scientists believe that the hadrosaur suffered from the condition for some time before it died.
Anné said that "having a destroyed or possibly fused elbow would have (made) that arm fairly useless. I imagine he/she had a bit of limp going on, or perhaps didn't even put weight on that arm."
She continued that septic arthritis is similar to osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone and bone marrow that can cause inflammation and destruction of the bone. Osteomyelitis previously was detected in dinosaurs.
Unlike that condition, septic arthritis is due to an infection that starts outside of the bone. The researchers were able to rule out osteomyelitis due to the observed condition's location around the dinosaur's elbow joint and because of the nature of the associated bone growth.
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The poor hadrosaur most likely lived in a great deal of pain, possibly following an injury caused by a meat-eating dinosaur or other predator. Nevertheless, the fact that the hadrosaur carried on in spite of the health challenge shows that the dinosaur at least possessed a certain amount of fortitude.
As Anné said, even to this day, "both birds and reptiles can deal with some pretty horrific pathologies, especially crocodiles."