Septic Arthritis

  • worst-case scenario
Clinical Findings
  • Acute onset
  • Consistent tenderness with all passive ROMs of joint
  • Joint usually warm, red, swollen  (Hip may be more subtle)
  • Fevers  (may be absent in very elderly)
Risk Factors (key):
            •  Age >80                   •  Rheumatoid Arthritis          •  Prosthetic Joint
            •  Skin Infection          •  Injection Drug Use / Alcoholism
  •  Recent joint surgery or steroid injection            •  Diabetes              
 Disseminated Gonorrhea  (special case)
  • young women (most common)
  • onset shortly after menses
  • Joint fluid culture negative up to 50%
  • culture cervix, urethra, rectum, maybe pharynx

See posting Monoarticular Arthritis.