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1.  Paraspinal Abscess Communicated with Epidural Abscess after Extra-Articular Facet Joint Injection 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2007;48(4):711-714.
Facet joint injection is considered to be a safe procedure. There have been some reported cases of facet joint pyogenic infection and also 3 cases of facet joint infection spreading to paraspinal muscle and epidural space due to intra-articular injections. To the author's knowledge, paraspinal and epidural abscesses after facet joint injection without facet joint pyogenic infection have not been reported. Here we report a case in which extra-articular facet joint injection resulted in paraspinal and epidural abscesses without facet joint infection. A 50-year-old man presenting with acute back pain and fever was admitted to the hospital. He had the history of diabetes mellitus and had undergone the extra-articular facet joint injection due to a facet joint syndrome diagnosis at a private clinic 5 days earlier. Physical examination showed tenderness over the paraspinal region. Magnetic resonance image (MRI) demonstrated the paraspinal abscess around the fourth and fifth spinous processes with an additional epidural abscess compressing the thecal sac. The facet joints were preserved. The laboratory results showed a white blood cell count of 14.9 × 109 per liter, an erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 52mm/hour, and 10.88mg/dL of C-reactive protein. Laminectomy and drainage were performed. The pus was found in the paraspinal muscles, which was communicated with the epidural space through a hole in the ligamentum flavum. Cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus. Paraspinal abscess communicated with epidural abscess is a rare complication of extra-articular facet joint injection demonstrating an abscess formation after an invasive procedure near the spine is highly possible.
PMCID: PMC2628056  PMID: 17722247
Complication; infection; injection; facet joint
2.  Sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis following paraspinal muscle abscess and septic lumbar spondylodiscitis with epidural abscess in a patient with diabetes: a case report 
Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) is extremely rare, and usually appears to result from hematogenous spread. Predisposing factors include immunocompromising diseases such as diabetes.
Case presentation
A 61-year-old man with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus presented to our emergency department with low back pain, high fever, and a painful mass over his left SCJ. He had received two epidural blocks over the past 2 weeks for severe back and leg pain secondary to lumbar disc herniation. He did not complain of weakness or sensory changes of his lower limbs, and his bladder and bowel function were normal. He had no history of shoulder injection, subclavian vein catheterization, intravenous drug abuse, or focal infection including tooth decay. CT showed an abscess of the left SCJ, with extension into the mediastinum and sternocleidomastoid muscle, and left paraspinal muscle swelling at the level of L2. MRI showed spondylodiscitis of L3-L4 with a contiguous extradural abscess. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from cultures of aspirated pus from his SCJ, and from his urine and blood. The SCJ abscess was incised and drained, and appropriate intravenous antibiotic therapy was administered. Two weeks after admission, the purulent discharge from the left SCJ had completely stopped, and the wound showed improvement. He was transferred to another ward for treatment of the ongoing back pain.
Diabetic patients with S. aureus bacteremia may be at risk of severe musculoskeletal infections via hematogenous spread.
PMCID: PMC3447652  PMID: 22702399
Sternoclavicular joint; Septic arthritis; Spondylitis; Epidural abscess; Epidural anesthesia; Staphylococcus aureus
3.  Septic arthritis of unilateral lumbar facet joint with contiguous abscess, without prior intervention 
BMJ Case Reports  2012;2012:bcr0920114849.
A 40-year-old female patient presented with persistent severe back pain radiating to the right leg, abdominal pain and constipation. Other clinical symptoms included nausea, vomiting and high-grade fever. Clinical examination showed generalised abdominal and lower back tenderness. There was no sensory loss or motor weakness in lower limbs, however investigations showed raised inflammatory markers. Radiographs of the lumbar spine and hip joint were normal. MRI revealed a septic arthritis of the right L3/4 facet joint, associated with a large abscess extending anteriorly to the right paraspinal muscles and posteriorly into the right posterolateral aspect of the epidural space in the central spinal canal, with moderate compression of the dural sac. Unlike any other reported similar case, this septic arthritis developed without prior medical intervention. The patient was treated successfully with ultrasound guided drainage of the facet joint/abscess and antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC3339176  PMID: 22602829
4.  Generalized infection following facet joint injection -A case report- 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2010;58(4):401-404.
Facet joints have been shown to be a source of chronic low back pain, and it is generally accepted in clinical practice that diagnostic and therapeutic facet joint injections are the most reliable technique for the treatment of facet joint pain, which is considered to be an easy and safe procedure. Serious complications and side effects are uncommon after facet joint injection. However, infectious complications including septic arthritis, epidural abscess, meningitis and endocarditis have been reported following facet joint injections. We report here the first case of death following lumbar facet joint injection due to generalized infection.
PMCID: PMC2876864  PMID: 20508800
Abscess; Facet joint; Infection; Low back pain
Prevention of complications is one of the most important aspects of patient care in pain management. The objective of this study is to review documented complications in medical literature that are associated with interventional pain management, specifically those associated with joint, tendon, and muscle injections. We conducted Medline research from 1966 to November 2006 using keywords complication, injection, radiofrequency, closed claim, facet, zygophyseal joint, sacroiliac joint, shoulder, hip, knee, carpel tunnel, bursa, and trigger point. We found over 35 relevant papers in forms of original articles, case reports, and reviews. The most common complications appear to be infections that have been associated with virtually all of these injections. These infections include spondylodiscitis, septic arthritis, epidural abscess, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomyelitis, gas gangrene, and albicans arthritis. Other complications include spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve injuries, pneumothorax, air embolism, pain or swelling at the site of injection, chemical meningism, granulomatous inflammation of the synovium, aseptic acute arthritis, embolia cutis medicamentosa, skeletal muscle toxicity, and tendon and fascial ruptures. We suggest that many of the infectious complications may be preventable by strict adherence to aseptic techniques and that some of the other complications may be minimized by refining the procedural techniques with a clear understanding of the relevant anatomies.
PMCID: PMC2084363  PMID: 18591992
6.  Glenohumeral tuberculous arthritis complicated with beta haemolytic streptococcus: An extraordinary rare association: A case report 
Septic arthritis of the glenohumeral joint is a rare entity and its diagnosis is difficult with a superadded infection in the presence of underlying tuberculosis. We report the first case of group B beta haemolytic streptococcal glenohumeral arthritis with underlying tuberculosis.
A 40 year old lady previously diagnosed to have poliomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C, and diabetes mellitus for the last 10 years, presented to the emergency room with diabetic ketoacidosis. Two weeks prior to presentation she developed fever along with pain and swelling in left shoulder with uncontrolled blood sugars. Local examination of the shoulder revealed global swelling with significant restricted range of motion. MRI showed a large multiloculated collection around the left shoulder joint extending into the axilla, and proximal arm. Urgent arthrotomy performed and about 120 ml thick pus was drained. The patient was started on clindamicin and antituberculous chemotherapy and her symptoms dramatically improved.
Bone and joint involvement accounts for approximately 2% of all reported cases of tuberculosis (TB), and it accounts for approximately 10% of the extra pulmonary cases of TB. Tuberculosis of the shoulder joint constitutes 1–10.5% of skeletal tuberculosis. Classical symptoms of fever, night sweats, and weight loss may be absent, and a concurrent pulmonary focus may not be evident in most cases.
Despite acute presentation of septic arthritis, in areas endemic for tuberculosis and particularly in an immunocompromised patient, workup for tuberculosis should be part of the routine evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3312055  PMID: 22382034
Glenohumeral tuberculous arthritis; Beta haemolytic streptococcus; Septic arthritis
7.  Bilateral sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis secondary to indwelling central venous catheter: a case report 
Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint is rare, comprising approximately 0.5% to 1% of all joint infections. Predisposing causes include immunocompromising diseases such as diabetes, HIV infection, renal failure and intravenous drug abuse.
Case presentation
We report a rare case of bilateral sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis in an elderly patient secondary to an indwelling right subclavian vein catheter. The insidious nature of the presentation is highlighted. We also review the literature regarding the epidemiology, investigation and methods of treatment of the condition.
SCJ infections are rare, and require a high degree of clinical suspicion. Vague symptoms of neck and shoulder pain may cloud the initial diagnosis, as was the case in our patient. Surgical intervention is often required; however, our patient avoided major intervention and settled with parenteral antibiotics and washout of the joint.
PMCID: PMC2390578  PMID: 18445257
8.  Spinal Epidural Abscess with Pyogenic Arthritis of Facet Joint Treated with Antibiotic-Bone Cement Beads - A Case Report - 
Asian Spine Journal  2007;1(1):61-64.
Most epidural abscesses are a secondary lesion of pyogenic spondylodiscitis. An epidural abscess associated with pyogenic arthritis of the facet joint is quite rare. To the best of our knowledge, there is no report of the use of antibiotic-cement beads in the surgical treatment of an epidural abscess. This paper reports a 63-year-old male who sustained a 1-week history of radiating pain to both lower extremities combined with lower back pain. MRI revealed space-occupying lesions, which were located in both sides of the anterior epidural space of L4, and CT scans showed irregular widening and bony erosion of the facet joints of L4-5. A staphylococcal infection was identified after a posterior decompression and an open drainage. Antibiotic- bone cement beads were used as a local controller of the infection and as a spacer or an indicator for the second operation. An intravenous injection of anti-staphylococcal antibiotics resolved the back pain and radicular pain and normalized the laboratory findings. We point out not only the association of an epidural abscess with facet joint infection, but also the possible indication of antibiotic-bone cement beads in the treatment of epidural abscesses.
PMCID: PMC2857502  PMID: 20411156
Epidural abscess; Facet joint infection; Lumbar spine; Antibiotic-bone cement bead
9.  Percutaneous transpedicular discectomy and drainage in pyogenic spondylodiscitis 
European Spine Journal  2004;13(8):707-713.
The natural history of uncomplicated hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis is self-limiting healing. However, a variable degree of bone destruction frequently occurs, predisposing the spine to painful kyphosis. Delayed treatment may result in serious neurologic complications. Early debridement of these infections by percutaneous transpedicular discectomy can accelerate the natural process of healing and prevent progression to bone destruction and epidural abscess. The purpose of this manuscript is to present our technique of percutaneous transpedicular discectomy (PTD), to revisit this minimally invasive surgical technique with stricter patient selection, and to exclude cases of extensive vertebral body destruction with kyphosis and neurocompression by epidural abscess, infected disc herniation, and foraminal stenosis. In a previously published report of 28 unselected patients with primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis, the immediate relief of pain after PTD was 75%, and in the longterm follow-up, the success rate was 68%. Applying stricter patient selection criteria in a second series of six patients (five with primary hematogenous spondylodiscitis and one with secondary postlaminectomydiscectomy spondylodiscitis), all patients with primary hematogenous spondylodiskitis (5/5) experienced immediate relief of pain that remained sustained at 12–18 months follow-up. This procedure was not very effective, however, in the patient who suffered from postlaminectomy infection. This lack of response was attributed to postlaminectomydiscitis instability. The immediate success rate after surgery for unselected patients in this combined series of 34 patients was 76%. This technique can be impressively effective and the results sustained when applied in the early stages of uncomplicated spondylodiscitis and contraindicated in the presence of instability, kyphosis from bone destruction, and neurological deficit. The special point of this procedure is a minimally invasive technique with high diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3454057  PMID: 15197626
Percutaneous transpedicular discectomy; Primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis
10.  Spondyloarthritis: A Gouty Display 
Gout is a systemic, metabolic disease that typically affects the peripheral joints. We describe an unusual presentation of gout affecting the facet joints and costovertebral joints in the thoracic and lumbar spine. A 54-year old man presents to the emergency department with increasing swelling and pain at the left elbow for one week and difficulty ambulating. The imaging work-up included plain radiographs of the left elbow, left wrist, and chest with subsequent admission for possible septic arthritis. MRI of the elbow showed olecranon bursitis and an erosion of the lateral epicondyle. CT scan demonstrated lytic cloud-like lesions localized to the facet joints and costovertebral joints of the thoracic and lumbar spine as well as bilateral medullary nephrocalcinosis. Possible hyperparathyroidism manifestations (including Brown tumors and medullary nephrocalcinosis) were evaluated with plains films of the hands; x-rays instead showed classic gouty arthritis. Our report reviews the disease, epidemiology, classic radiologic findings, and treatment of gout.
PMCID: PMC3303407  PMID: 22470729
Chronic Tophaceous Gout; Spondyloarthritis; Gout
11.  Pyogenic Arthritis of the Facet Joint with Concurrent Epidural and Paraspinal Abscess: A Case Report 
Asian Spine Journal  2011;5(4):245-249.
Pyogenic arthritis of lumber spinal facet joints is an extremely rare condition. There are only 40 reported cases worldwide. Most cases were associated with history of paravertebral injection, which was not found in our patient. At the time of hospital admission, he had no abnormal magnetic resonance image findings. Two weeks later, he developed pyogenic facet joint arthritis associated with paravertebral and epidural abscess. This report is the first to describe delayed presentation of pyogenic arthritis associated with paravertebral abscess and epidural infection.
PMCID: PMC3230652  PMID: 22164319
Zygapophyseal joint; Pyogenic arthritis; Lumbar spine
12.  Escherichia coli – Marauding masquerading microbe 
Escherichia coli is a rare cause of monoarticular septic arthritis, but is an even rarer cause of polyarticular septic arthritis.
Case description
We report an unusual case of polyarticular septic arthritis with an atypical presentation caused by E. coli, the source of which was a left pyelonephritis. Our patient developed E coli sepsis resulting in polyarticular septic arthritis (PASA) in the absence of typical risk factors except for pre-existing osteoarthritis. The joints involved were the hip, ankle, sternoclavicular and L5/S1 joints. Of interest, ankle pain was not reported or evident until correlated with nuclear medicine scans. Furthermore, sternoclavicular joint involvement presented as left shoulder pain, resulting in an initial misdiagnosis of left shoulder septic arthritis. The patient was treated with surgical washout and antibiotic therapy. He was subsequently discharged from rehabilitation having returned to his baseline level of mobility. Future consideration will be given to total hip arthroplasty.
Literature review
There are no reported cases of E. coli PASA involving more than three joints in the absence of any recognized risk factors for septic arthritis.
Purpose and clinical relevance
Asymptomatic involvement of joints can occur in polyarticular septic arthritis and should be considered in all cases of monoarticular septic arthritis (MASA). We believe that clinical suspicion is the key to early and comprehensive diagnosis of polyarticular septic arthritis particularly when presenting in an atypical fashion with an atypical pathogen. Strong consideration should be given to performing nuclear imaging in cases of monoarticular septic arthritis where polyarticular involvement cannot be definitively ruled out.
PMCID: PMC3880952
Escherichia coli sepsis; Polyarticular septic arthritis; Septic arthritis; Nuclear medicine imaging; Bone-Gallium scan
13.  A Case of Adult Onset Still's Disease Misdiagnosed as Septic Arthritis 
Knee Surgery & Related Research  2011;23(3):171-176.
We present a case of adult onset Still's disease (AOSD) that was misdiagnosed as septic arthritis of the shoulder and knee. A forty-nine-year-old woman was admitted for pain in the left knee. The patient's medical history showed that she had undergone arthroscopic irrigation twice and an open debridement under the diagnosis of septic shoulder at another hospital. The laboratory and joint fluid analysis findings led us to suspect septic knee. Arthroscopic irrigation and antibiotics treatment were performed. At five weeks after discharge, she presented with pain in the same joint, fever, and rash. The symptoms were consistent with Yamaguchi's criteria for AOSD. We started corticosteroid therapy, and clinical remission was achieved. In conclusion, we suggest that AOSD should be considered as a diagnosis of exclusion to avoid misdiagnosis with septic arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3341832  PMID: 22570830
Knee; Adult onset Still's disease; Septic arthritis
14.  Salmonella enteridis Septic Arthritis: A Report of Two Cases 
Introduction. Nontyphoidal salmonellosis causes significant morbidity, is transmitted via fecal-oral route, and is a worldwide cause of gastroenteritis, bacteremia, and local infections. Salmonella is a less common etiologic factor for septic arthritis compared with other gram-negative bacteria. Cases. We present two septic arthritis cases with Salmonella enteridis as a confirmed pathogen and also discuss the predisposing factors and treatment. Discussion. Septic arthritis is an orthopedic emergency. The gold standard treatment of septic arthritis is joint debridement, antibiotic therapy according to the culture results, and physiotherapy, which should start in the early postoperative period to prevent limitation of motion. Salmonella is an atypical agent for septic arthritis. It must be particularly kept in mind as an etiologic factor for the acute arthritis of a patient with sickle cell anemia and systemic lupus erythematosus. Clinicians should be cautious that the white blood cell count in synovial fluid can be under 50.000/mm3 in immune compromised individuals with septic arthritis. The inflammatory response can be deficient, or the microorganism may be atypical. Conclusion. Atypical bacteria such as Salmonella species in immune compromised patients can cause joint infections. Therefore, Salmonella species must always be kept in mind for the differential diagnosis of septic arthritis in a clinically relevant setting.
PMCID: PMC3819818  PMID: 24251049
15.  Arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint masquerading as rupture of the cervical oesophagus: a case report 
Sternoclavicular septic arthritis is a rare condition and accounts only for 1% of cases of septic arthritis in the general population. The most common risk factors are intravenous drug use, central-line infection, distant-site infection, immunosuppression, trauma and diabetes mellitus. This is a report of an unusual case where this type of arthritis was masquerading as rupture of the cervical oesophagus.
Case presentation
A 63-year-old man presented complaining of right neck pain and dysphagia following a bout of violent coughing. Physical examination revealed cellulitis extending from the right sternoclidomastoid region to the anterior upper chest. Computed tomography showed inflammatory changes behind the right sternoclavicular joint with mediastinitis and ipsilateral pleural effusion. These findings raised the suspicion of spontaneous rupture of the cervical oesophagus. Management involved jejunal feeding along with broad-spectrum antibiotics. The inflammation, however, relapsed after discontinuation of the antibiotics and this time, computed tomography pointed to a diagnosis of arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint. The patient responded completely to a 6-week course of oral penicillin, flucloxacillin and metronidazole.
Sternoclavicular arthritis is a rare condition that has been associated with a variety of predisposing factors. It may, however, occur in otherwise completely healthy individuals and should be included in the differential diagnosis of other inflammatory conditions of the neck and upper chest.
PMCID: PMC2639601  PMID: 19178739
16.  Salmonella enterica serovar Ohio septic arthritis and bone abscess in an immunocompetent patient: a case report 
Non-typhi Salmonella species cause severe extra-intestinal focal infection after occult bacteremia. Although the number of cases of non-typhi salmonellosis is increasing worldwide among patients with immunocompromising conditions such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, infection is uncommon in immunocompetent subjects. We report a case of septic arthritis and bone abscess due to a rare non-typhi Salmonella organism that developed after a prolonged asymptomatic period.
Case presentation
A 44-year-old Japanese immunocompetent man presented with acute-onset left knee pain and swelling. He had no history of food poisoning, and his most recent travel to an endemic area was 19 years ago. Salmonella enterica serovar Ohio was identified from samples of bone abscess and joint tissue. Arthrotomy and necrotic tissue debridement followed by intravenous ceftriaxone was successful.
Non-typhi Salmonella species only rarely cause extra-intestinal focal infections in immunocompetent patients. Our case suggests that non-typhi Salmonella species can cause severe focal infections many years after the occult bacteremia associated with food poisoning.
PMCID: PMC3416725  PMID: 22804866
Salmonella Ohio; Non-typhi salmonellosis; Extra-intestinal focal infection; Immunocompetent patient
17.  Community-Acquired MRSA Pyomyositis: Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Journal of Tropical Medicine  2011;2011:970848.
Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is responsible for a broad range of infections. We report the case of a 46-year-old gentleman with a history of untreated, uncomplicated Hepatitis C who presented with a 2-month history of back pain and was found to have abscesses in his psoas and right paraspinal muscles with subsequent lumbar spine osteomyelitis. Despite drainage and appropriate antibiotic management the patient's clinical condition deteriorated and he developed new upper extremity weakness and sensory deficits on physical exam. Repeat imaging showed new, severe compression of the spinal cord and cauda equina from C1 to the sacrum by a spinal epidural abscess. After surgical intervention and continued medical therapy, the patient recovered completely. This case illustrates a case of CA-MRSA pyomyositis that progressed to lumbar osteomyelitis and a spinal epidural abscess extending the entire length of the spinal canal.
PMCID: PMC3065056  PMID: 21461362
18.  Pneumococcal polyarticular septic arthritis after a single infusion of infliximab in a rheumatoid arthritis patient: a case report 
We present a case of Streptococcus pneumoniae polyarticular septic arthritis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis receiving a single infusion of infliximab.
Case presentation
A 38-year-old Japanese man with a 5-year history of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis had previously received sulphasalazine and methotrexate therapies and was on regular low-dose prednisolone therapy. Despite these treatments, his disease activity remained high and infliximab was introduced in addition to methotrexate, prednisolone, and folic acid. However, he was admitted to hospital with a fever of 40.6°C, chills, and polyarthralgia eight days after the first infusion of infliximab. His joints were swollen, painful, and warm. Laboratory data showed marked acute inflammation. He was diagnosed with bacterial septic polyarthritis, and emergency surgical joint lavage and drainage was performed at the knees along with needle aspiration and lavage of the ankles and right wrist. He was then given intravenous antibiotic therapy for 31 days. He made a good recovery and was discharged on day 37.
We believe this is the first reported case of severe pneumococcal septic arthritis requiring hospitalization in a patient treated with infliximab. S. pneumonia is now a well-recognized but uncommon cause of polyarticular septic arthritis that can lead to cessation of therapy, as in our patient's case.
PMCID: PMC3310787  PMID: 22405136
infliximab; rheumatoid arthritis; septic arthritis; Streptococcus pneumoniae
19.  Soft tissue non-Hodgkin lymphoma of shoulder in a HIV patient: a report of a case and review of the literature 
The risk of developing lymphoma is greatly increased in HIV infection. Musculoskeletal manifestations of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are common and are sometimes the initial presentation of the disease. Muscle, bone, and joints are involved by septic arthritis, myopathies and neoplasms. HIV-related neoplastic processes that affect the musculoskeletal system include Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the latter being mainly localized at lower extremities, spine and skull.
Case presentation
The Authors report a case of a 34 year-old lady. In December 2003 the patient noted a painless mass on her right shoulder whose size increased progressively. In March 2004 she was diagnosed HIV positive and contemporary got pregnant. The patient decided to continue her pregnancy and to not undergo any diagnostic procedure and treatment. At the end of August she underwent a surgical ablation of the lesion that revealed a lesion of 7 cm × 7 cm × 3,3 cm. The histology showed B-cells expressing CD20, PAX-5, CD10, BCL-6 and MUM-1 with 70% Ki67 positive nuclei. The lesion was also negative for EBV infection and showed a monoclonal rearrangement of IgH chain and a polyclonal pattern for TCR gamma and beta. A final diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was made. The patient underwent postoperative chemotherapy. At four-years follow up the patient is symptom free and no local nor systemic recurrence of pathology has been noted on MRI control. HIV infection is still under control.
In this report, we present a case of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma localized in the soft tissue of the shoulder in a HIV infected patient. Authors want to underline this case for the rare position, the big size and the association with HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC2582238  PMID: 18939988
20.  Isolated septic facet joint arthritis as a rare cause of acute and chronic low back pain – a case report and literature review 
Polish Journal of Radiology  2012;77(4):72-76.
The most common cause of low back pain is degenerative disease of the intervertebral disc and other structures of the lumbar spine. However, in some cases other less frequent causes of such pain can be seen, for example septic facet joint arthritis. Until now, only 40 cases of such inflammatory changes within the spine have been reported in the literature. The disease is probably underestimated due to improper diagnostic pathway.
Case Report:
The authors describe a case of a 53-year-old woman who was repeatedly hospitalized during a five-month period because of an acute, severe low back pain, with sphincter dysfunction, partially resembling sciatic symptoms. Physical examinations revealed also focal tenderness in the area of the lumbar spine. Inflammatory markers (ESR – erythrocyte sedimentation rate, CRP – C-reactive protein) were elevated. Conservative analgetic treatment brought only partial and temporary relief of the pain and symptoms. The final accurate diagnosis of isolated septic facet joint arthritis at the level of L5/S1 was established after several months from the onset of the first symptoms, after performing various imaging examinations, including bone scintigraphy as well as CT and MRI of the lumbosacral spine. The patient fully recovered after antibiotic therapy and surgery, which was proven in several follow-up examinations showing no relevant pathology of the lumbar spine. The authors broadly describe the etiology and clinical symptoms of the septic facet joint arthritis as well as the significant role of imaging methods, especially MRI, in diagnostic process. The authors also discuss currently available treatment options, both conservative and surgical.
The diagnostic procedure of septic facet joint arthritis requires several steps to be taken. Establishing a correct diagnosis may be difficult, that is why it is important to remember about rare causes of low back pain and to perform detailed physical examination, laboratory tests and choose appropriate imaging techniques.
PMCID: PMC3529718  PMID: 23269942
low back pain; diagnostics; facet joint arthritis
21.  Septic Arthritis in Rheumatology: Review of Five Cases 
This report illustrates five cases of patients admitted to medical ward in HUKM, diagnosed and treated as septic arthritis over the course of two months. Their age ranged from 32 to 67 years old with one patient had history of monoarticular pain and the other four had polyarticular pain. Two of these patients had pre-existing joint disease, namely gouty arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and another patient with background history of mixed connective tissue disease on long term steroid therapy. The diagnosis of septic arthritis was made mainly from clinical assessment, supported by synovial fluid assessment and blood investigations. All patients received minimum of two weeks intravenous antibiotic followed by one month course of antibiotic. All of them had arthrocentesis for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and two had laparoscopic arthroscopy with wash out done.
Septic arthritis; Arthrocentesis; Arthroscopy
PMCID: PMC3318881  PMID: 22493652
22.  Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare cellulitis occurring with septic arthritis after joint injection: a case report 
Cellulitis caused by Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare has rarely been described. Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare is a rare cause of septic arthritis after intra-articular injection, though the causative role of injection is difficult to ascertain in such cases.
Case presentation
A 57-year-old with rheumatoid arthritis treated with prednisone and azathioprine developed bilateral painful degenerative shoulder arthritis. After corticosteroid injections into both acromioclavicular joints, he developed bilateral cellulitis centered over the injection sites. Skin biopsy showed non-caseating granulomas, and culture grew Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare. Joint aspiration also revealed Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection.
Although rare, skin and joint infections caused by Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare should be considered in any immunocompromised host, particularly after intra-articular injection. Stains for acid-fast bacilli may be negative in pathologic samples even in the presence of infection; cultures of tissue specimens should always be obtained.
PMCID: PMC1829162  PMID: 17324257
23.  Metastatic Spreading of Community Acquired Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia 
A 29-year-old woman presented to the Fondazione IRCCS “Cà Granda” Ospedale Maggiore, a tertiary care university hospital in Milan (Italy), with skin lesions, fever, myalgia, joint pain and swelling, and a one-week history of low back pain. The diagnosis was Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteraemia spreading to skin, bones, and joints and a lumbosacral epidural abscess L5-S2. Neither initial focus nor predisposing conditions were apparent. The antibiotic therapy was prolonged for six-weeks with the resolution of fever, skin lesions, articular inflammation, and the epidural abscess. Community-acquired S. aureus infections can affect patients without traditional healthcare-associated risk factors, and community acquisition is a risk-factor for the development of complications. Raised awareness of S. aureus bacteraemia, also in patients without healthcare-associated risk factors, is important in the diagnosis, management, and control of this infection, because failure to recognise patients with serious infection and lack of understanding of empirical antimicrobial selection are associated with a high mortality rate in otherwise healthy people.
PMCID: PMC3336228  PMID: 22567463
24.  Klebsiella pneumoniae Septic Arthritis in a Cirrhotic Patient with Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;19(4):608-610.
Despite septic arthritis is increasingly being reported in elderly patients with diabetes or alcoholism, reported cases of spontaneous bacterial arthritis in cirrhotic patients are extremely rare. We present the first reported case of K. pneumoniae septic arthritis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in a cirrhotic patient with hepatocellular carcinoma. K. pneumoniae, one of the most common causative organisms of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhotic patients, was isolated from both the blood and the joint fluid, which suggests that the route of infection was hematogenous. After the treatment with cefotaxime and closed tube drainage, the condition of the patient was improved, and subsequently, the joint fluid became sterile and the blood cultures were proved negative. Therefore, this case provides further evidence for the mode of infection being bacteremia in cirrhotic patients and suggests that the enteric bacteremia in cirrhotics may cause infection in different organ systems.
PMCID: PMC2816900  PMID: 15308857
Arthritis, Infectious; Liver Cirrhosis; Carcinoma, Hepatocellular; Klebsiella pneumoniae
25.  Spinal epidural abscess with myelitis and meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in a young child 
Spinal epidural abscess (SEA) in children is a rare infectious emergency warranting prompt intervention. Predisposing factors include immunosuppression, spinal procedures, and local site infections such as vertebral osteomyelitis and paraspinal abscess. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common isolate.
Case report and literature review.
A 2.5-year-old boy with tetraparesis was found to have an SEA in the posterior lumbar epidural space with evidence of meningitis and myelitis on MRI spine in the absence of any local or systemic predisposing factors or spinal procedures. Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated from the evacuated pus.
Definitive treatment of SEA is a combination of surgical decompression and iv antibiotics. Timely management limits the extent of neurological deficit.
PMCID: PMC3127372  PMID: 21756576
Spinal epidural abscess; Tetraparesis; Streptococcus pneumonia; Myelitis; Meningitis; Paralysis

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