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Deep Infection Following Dry Needling in a Young Athlete: An Underreported Complication of an Increasingly Prevalent Modality

A Case Report

Kim, Daniel C., MD, MS1,a; Glenzer, Scott, MD1; Johnson, Anna, MD1; Nimityongskul, Prasit, MD1

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.18.00097
Case Reports
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Update This article was updated on November 1, 2018, because of a previous error. On page 2, in the legend for Figure 1, the source was not properly credited. The figure legend now reads “A physical therapist performing dry needling at the medial proximal aspect (top) and the lateral distal aspect of the right thigh (bottom). (Reproduced with permission from Myopain Seminars.)”

An erratum has been published: JBJS Case Connect. 2018 Dec 26;8(4):e110.

Case: Dry needling frequently is performed by a variety of practitioners for pain treatment. A 16-year-old boy had dry needling in the posterolateral aspect of the right thigh for treatment of pain after a knee injury. He developed an abscess on the posterolateral distal aspect of the right thigh deep to the site of the dry needling. Treatment included surgical drainage and intravenous antibiotics.

Conclusion: Deep infection is a rare but serious complication of dry needling. Standardized guidelines for safety and sterile technique with dry needling are needed to minimize the risk of infection.

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama

aE-mail address for D.C. Kim:

Copyright © 2018 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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