Evaluation and Management of Septic Arthritis and Its Mimics in the Emergency Department

Brit Long, MD; Alex Koyfman, MD; Michael Gottlieb, MD


Western J Emerg Med. 2019;20(2):331-341. 

In This Article


We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for articles using the keywords "septic arthritis," "monoarthritis," "synovial fluid," "diagnosis," "treatment," and "emergency." Restricting the literature search to studies published in English, we found an initial 258 articles. We reviewed all relevant articles and decided by consensus which studies to include for the narrative review, focusing on articles investigating ED patients, studies evaluating synovial fluid results, and studies investigating septic arthritis diagnosis or management. A total of 133 articles were selected for inclusion in this review. We did not conduct a systematic review or meta-analysis, but rather a narrative review evaluating the emergency medicine investigation and management of septic arthritis and its mimics.