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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 2002 Giugno;44(2):151-4
Pneumococcal septic arthritis of the shoulder. Case report and literature review
Bertone C., Rivera F., Avallone F., Urgelli S., Maniscalco P.
From the Department of Radiological and Orthopaedic - Rehabilitative Sciences Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Clinic University of Siena, Siena, Italy
Septic arthritis due to Streptococcus Pneumoniae appears to be relatively uncommon. Single- or clustered-case histories constitute the majority of reports on pneumococcal septic arthritis. A 70-year-old man presented with a 7-day history of pain, erythema and swelling of the left shoulder. Physical examination of the left shoulder revealed a warm, swollen, erythematous, and markedly tender to light palpation. The patient was unable to elevate his arm more than 30° without pain. Arthrocentesis performed on admission produced 30 cc of grossly purulent fluid whose culture demonstrated S. Pneumoniae. The septic arthritis was treated with intravenous vancomycin and imipenem. The antibiotics were substituted when the sensitivities were known with oral ciprofloxacin and rifampycin to complete 8 weeks’ total treatment. On follow-up examination 1 year later, the patient has remained afebrile and asymptomatic without evidence of increasing joint effusion or acute joint inflammation. Pneumococcal arthritis is classically described as a painful monoarticular arthritis complicating an active pneumococcal infection, generally a primary pulmonary infection. Pneumococcal arthritis appears to be predominately a disease affecting the elderly. Clinical presentation ranges from septicemia to indolent infection with few systemic symptoms. With adequate antibiotic therapy and aspiration or drainage of the joint, the prognosis for return of normal joint function appears to be excellent. Although pneumococcal organisms are not likely causes, this bacteria should certainly be considered as a possible cause of arthritis or prosthetic infection.