Infection remains one of the leading causes of mortality in the UK, and bacterial septic arthritis is one of the more serious musculoskeletal medical emergencies. The key to preventing the morbidity and mortality associated with bacterial septic arthritis depends on awareness of risk factors and the early diagnosis and timely investigation and management of patients suspected of having joint sepsis. The emergence of newer pathogenic organisms with changing antibiotic sensitivities has made the management of bacterial septic arthritis even more challenging. The future of the management of bacterial septic arthritis may include the use of adjunctive therapies such as corticosteroids, cytokines or bisphosphonates, all of which have had promising results in animal studies as well as some human trials in children. Whether some of these novel targeted therapies could reduce the disease burden in adult bacterial septic arthritis in humans remains to be seen.
Int J Clin Rheumatol. 2012;7(3):335-342. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.