Rapid Review: Septic Arthritis

Septic Arthritis

  • Patient will be complaining of fever, monoarticular pain with decreased ROM
  • Labs will show WBC > 50,000 with > 75% PMNs
  • Diagnosis is made by arthrocentesis
  • Most commonly caused by:
    • Age < 35: N. gonorrhea, S. aureus overall
  • Treatment is IV ABX, surgical washout

    Sample question:

    A 23-year-old man with a history of intravenous heroin abuse presents to the emergency department with a painful left hip that is preventing him from walking. He denies injury. Physical exam reveals a swollen and erythematous left hip that is tender to palpation. His temperature is 102.2°F. What is the most likely causative pathogen?


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