Clinical features of septic arthritis of sternoclavicular joint

Akkasilpa, S.; Osiri, M.; Ukritchon, S.; Junsirimongkol, B.; Deesomchok, U.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 84(1): 63-68


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-2208
PMID: 11281502
Document Number: 1453
We studied 21 patients with septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint at Chulalongkorn University Hospital between January 1987 and January 1997. There were 15 males (71.4%) and 6 females (28.6%). The mean age was 47.4 years with a range of 16 to 69. More than half of the patients (57.1%) were aged more than 50 years and most had associated diseases including diabetes mellitus and cirrhosis. Almost all of the younger age group had a history of intravenous drug abuse. All of the patients had fever and sternoclavicular joint pain. Most of the patients (66.7%) had monoarticular arthritis, whereas, the others had oligoarticular arthritis. Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly or identified organism in the patients. Retrosternal abscess was seen by computerized tomography in 6 patients (28.6%). All patients received parenteral antibiotics, and 5 patients (23.8%) required surgical drainage of a retrosternal abscess. Eighteen patients recovered but there were 3 (14.3%) deaths. All of these had retrosternal abscesses. The major cause of death was septic shock. Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint is an uncommon disease in Thai clinical practice. Although uncommon, retrosternal abscess is a life threatening complication.

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Clinical features of septic arthritis of sternoclavicular joint