What is the role of shoulder arthrocentesis in the treatment of septic arthritis?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

The shoulder accounts for only 5-12% of all cases of septic arthritis. The overall incidence of septic arthritis of the shoulder is approximately 3200 cases per year in the United States. In older patients with substantial comorbidities, shoulder arthrocentesis may be considered when a septic joint is suspected. In younger patients, surgical drainage is optimal; septic arthritis of the shoulder has been associated with poor prognosis and recurrent effusion, drainage, subluxation, dislocation, osteomyelitis, septicemia, and septic shock. [6]


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