What is the significance of the pattern of joint involvement in the diagnosis of septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 19, 2017
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The pattern of joint involvement is an extremely important diagnostic feature. Of cases of nongonococcal suppurative arthritis, 85-90% are monoarticular. If the disease affects more than one joint, S aureus is most commonly implicated. Polyarticular arthritis is usually observed in gonococcal disease, various viral infections, Lyme disease, reactive arthritis, and various noninfectious processes.


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