Paucis Verbis card: Septic Arthritis

Jun 11, 10
Paucis Verbis card: Septic Arthritis

Knee PainIn the workup of monoarticular arthritis, the question that emergency physicians constantly struggle over is whether the patient has a nongonococcal septic arthritis. This joint infection alarmingly damages and erodes cartilage within only a few days.

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews the JAMA Rational Clinical Examination article which asks “Does this patient have septic arthritis?” Pooled sensitivities and likelihood ratios were calculated. These statistics are always helpful when trying to figure out the patients probability of having a septic joint.

I was surprised to learn that only about 50% of patients with septic joints have a fever. Note that a hip or knee prosthesis PLUS an overlying skin infection pretty much equals a septic joint (LR = 15.0).

Risk factors are listed in the table with the corresponding sensitivities, specificities, and likelihood ratios.

PV Card: Septic Arthritis


Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.

Author information

Michelle Lin, MD

ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

The post Paucis Verbis card: Septic Arthritis appeared first on ALiEM.

Leave a Comment

Like articles like this one?

Join our Email List and get the latest TCCC/TECC/TEMS news bulletins, articles, product releases, and more!

Free Delivery

On all orders over $99 within CONUS and to APO/FPO

Easy Returns

We're here to help! Satisfaction Guaranteed

Knowledgeable Staff

Ready to assist you at a moment's notice

Safe& Secure Checkout

World’s most advanced and secure website encryption.