When is surgical drainage indicated for treatment 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

Surgical drainage is indicated when one or more of the following occur:

  • The appropriate choice of antibiotic and vigorous percutaneous drainage fails to clear the infection after 5-7 days

  • The infected joints are difficult to aspirate (eg, hip)

  • Adjacent soft tissue is infected


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