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Children's Health

Septic arthritis?



My 10-year-old cousin is in the hospital in Brazil with, apparently, septic arthritis. He complained of pain, on his right knee, for the first time on June 15. That night he cried all night in pain. Early in the morning he was taken to the hospital. There, they could not figure out what was wrong with him and sent him back home with a prescription. That was a Friday. He didn’t get better over the weekend and was take back to the hospital on Monday. That same day his knee was operated on to have a large infection removed from the joint. He was after, given three antibiotics intravenously and pain medication. Blood tests were conducted and it was bad news. The kept checking his blood and it improved but in the meantime, an infection of the left knee developed. They tried removing the infection liquids with a needle, but that did not work, so they operated to clean the joint from the infection. The child never had any injuries and it was plenty healthy when all that developed. They don’t’ know where the infection came from. I keep ask if they have identified the bacteria, but my cousin tells me no. They mentioned the possibility of lyme disease, which is very sporadic in Brazil (there was a small rash on the skin of his foot) but none of his other symptoms match lyme disease. I asked if the infection could be caused by fungus…. Now they have said the boy (who hasn’t walked at all in two weeks) will have to remains hospitalized for another 3-4 weeks. They say they have sent samples to a lab, but how could they not know the bacteria? Does it sound to you like septic arthritis?


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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University