Infectious arthritis
Suppurative arthritis

Author: Vijay Shankar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 August 2017, last major update March 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Infectious suppurative arthritis [title]

Cite this page: Shankar, V. Suppurative arthritis. website. Accessed August 15th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Due to seeding of joint during bacteremia, most commonly Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, gram negative rods; rarely syphilis
  • Also due to postsurgical infection
  • Neonates: often due to osteomyelitis; hip more common than ankle or knee
  • Young women: usually gonorrhea, associated with multiple joint involvement, including knee
  • Sickle cell disease: Salmonella
  • Risk factors: immune deficiencies, severe illness, joint trauma, chronic arthritis, intravenous drug abuse
  • Symptoms: sudden development of acutely painful and swollen joint with restricted range of motion, systemic findings
  • Usually single joint (knee, hip, shoulder)
  • Aspiration of joint under radiologic guidance
Case reports
  • Immediate surgical incision and drainage, immobilization and antibiotics
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Ankle joint

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Neutrophils (also Behcet disease, familial Mediterranean fever)