Acute hot swollen tender joint with decreased ROM (active and passive) is bacterial nongonococcal septic arthritis until proven otherwise - Karen O'Brien DO


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Basics of Knee Aspiration

The foremost consideration in the presentation of joint pain is septic arthritis. Septic arthritis is classically characterized by red, hot, swollen joint with associated effusion and fever and limited passive and active range of motion. The knee is implicated in 50% of septic joints. There is good reason to be concerned: patients who present with a new-onset swollen and painful joint have up to a 27% chance of having septic arthritis. Importantly, absence of fever or chills, labwork, and history do not reliably exclude septic joint.

The most sensitive physical exam findings are pain with motion, tenderness, and joint effusion/swelling.  Joint pain and joint effusion may, in fact,…

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Last Updated : Saturday, June 18, 2022