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Management of Septic Arthritis in Children

Herndon William A. M.D.; Knauer, Sally M.D.; Sullivan, J Andy M.D.; Gross, Richard H. M.D.
Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: September-October 1986
Original Article: PDF Only


Forty-five children underwent initial nonoperative treatment of hematogenous septic arthritis in joints other than the hip. Only joints with symptoms for <6 days and without associated osteomyelitis were included. Thirty-four of the 49 joints were successfully managed by aspiration and antibiotics, whereas the remaining joints were successfully managed by surgical drainage following a lack of response to nonoperative treatment. All children had a satisfactory result after an average followup of >3 years. Early diagnosis and treatment are more important than the method of drainage. If a lack of response is seen to initial nonoperative treatment, surgical drainage will still lead to a satisfactory outcome.

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