What is the typical presentation of septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with an infected joint typically present with the triad of fever (40-60% of cases), pain (75% of cases), and impaired range of motion. These symptoms may evolve over a few days to a few weeks. Fever is usually low-grade (< 102°F), with rigors present in only 20% of cases. Spiking fevers and chills are much more common with crystalline arthritis.


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