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Bacterial arthritis: Treatment and outcome in infants and children

Author
Paul Krogstad, MD
Section Editors
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
William Phillips, MD
Thomas JA Lehman, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD

INTRODUCTION

Infections of the joints (known as septic arthritis, pyogenic arthritis, suppurative arthritis, purulent arthritis, or pyarthrosis) may be caused by bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria, and viruses. The term “septic arthritis” usually refers to bacterial arthritis or fungal arthritis, but bacterial joint infections are most common [1,2].

The treatment and outcome of bacterial arthritis in infants and children will be reviewed here. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, microbiology, clinical features, and diagnosis of bacterial arthritis in infants and children are discussed separately. (See "Bacterial arthritis: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and microbiology in infants and children" and "Bacterial arthritis: Clinical features and diagnosis in infants and children".)

The treatment of arthritis due to Lyme disease is also discussed separately. (See "Treatment of Lyme disease", section on 'Arthritis'.)

OVERVIEW OF TREATMENT

Bacterial arthritis requires prompt recognition and management. Delays in treatment are often associated with long-term sequelae. These sequelae can have major lifelong impact if a major weight-bearing joint is involved, particularly when the hip joint is involved in infants.

The goals of treatment include sterilization and decompression of the joint space and removal of inflammatory debris to relieve pain and prevent deformity or functional sequelae [1,3]. Surgical drainage and antimicrobial therapy are the cornerstones of therapy.

                                            

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Mar 02 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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