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.
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.
Facet joint septic arthritis is a rare but severe infection with the possibility of significant morbidity resulting from local or systemic spread of the infection. Pain is the most common complaint on presentation followed by fever, then neurologic impairment. While the lumbar spine is involved in the vast majority of cases presented in the literature, the case presented here occurred in the cervical spine. The patient presented with a three week history of neck and left shoulder pain and was diagnosed by MRI when his pain did not respond to analgesics and muscle relaxants. The only predisposing factor was a history of diabetes mellitus and the infection most likely resulted from hematogenous spread. MRI is highly sensitive in diagnosing septic arthritis and it is the preferred modality for demonstrating the extent of infection and secondary complications including epidural and paraspinal abscesses as seen in this case. Without familiarity with this entity's predisposing factors, clinical symptoms and appropriate lab/ imaging work up, many patients experience a delay in diagnosis. Treatment involves long term parenteral antibiotics or percutaneous drainage. Surgical debridement is reserved for cases with severe neurologic impairment. The incidence of facet joint septic arthritis is increasing likely related to patient factors (increasing number of patients >50 yo, immunosuppressed patients, etc), advancement in imaging technology, availability of MRI, and heightened awareness of this rare infection which is the aim of this case presentation.
Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) is a rare condition and has many diagnostic and therapeutic standards. The purpose of this study was to evaluate our experience with surgical and diagnostic management to provide a surgical pathway to help surgeons treat this disease.
We retrospectively reviewed five patients who were managed surgically between 1999 and 2007. All patients underwent structured diagnostic and treatment protocols. The functional outcome was evaluated using the Constant Score.
The patients had the following underlying medical conditions: laryngeal cancer, port-explantation linked to a rectum carcinoma, spondylodiscitis, and brain stem infarct with reduced general condition; one patient had no underlying medical problems. Three patients underwent a simple incision, debridement and drainage, and two patients underwent an extended intervention with partial resection of the sternoclavicular joint. The mean duration of follow-up was 29 months (range 24–36 months). All patients had well-healed wounds without signs of reinfection. The Constant Score for the functional outcome at the time of the last follow-up was 76 points (range 67–93 points). All patients recovered completely from SCJ disease.
Our recommendations for the management of septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint include standard treatment steps and assessments. The early stages of infection can be managed by simple incision, debridement and drainage. In advanced stages of infection, a more radical intervention is preferable.
Septic arthritis; Sternoclavicular joint; Surgical management; Treatment
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.
Escherichia coli is a rare cause of monoarticular septic arthritis, but is an even rarer cause of polyarticular septic arthritis.
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.
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.
Escherichia coli sepsis; Polyarticular septic arthritis; Septic arthritis; Nuclear medicine imaging; Bone-Gallium scan
Unilateral and bilateral sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) dislocations are rare injuries. The difficulty in assessing this condition often leads to delay in diagnosis and treatment. We report a rare case of bilateral asymmetrical traumatic SCJ dislocations in a 45-year-old male. The right anterior SCJ dislocation was reduced in the emergency room (ER) and resulted in residual instability. The left posterior SCJ dislocation was asymptomatic and unnoticed for six months. It is important for ER physicians and orthopaedic surgeons to be able identify and treat this condition. All suspected SCJ dislocations should be evaluated by computed tomography (CT) scan for confirmation of the diagnosis and evaluation of both SCJs. Posterior SCJ dislocation is a potentially fatal injury and should not be overlooked due to the presence of other injuries. Surgical intervention is often necessary in acute and old cases.
Shoulder; Sternoclavicular joint; Dislocations; Emergency; Case report; Saudi Arabia
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.
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.
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.
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.
Complication; infection; injection; facet joint
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.
Abscess; Facet joint; Infection; Low back pain
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.
Percutaneous transpedicular discectomy; Primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis
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.
Epidural abscess; Facet joint infection; Lumbar spine; Antibiotic-bone cement bead
Aggressive treatment of sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) infection involves systemic antibiotics, surgical drainage and resection if indicated. The purpose of this paper is to describe a classification of post resectional SCJ defects and highlight our reconstructive algorithm. Defects were classified into A, where closure was possible often with the aid of topical negative pressure dressing; B, where parts of the manubrium, calvicular head, and first rib were excised; and C, where both clavicular, first ribs and most of the manubrium were resected.
Twelve patients (age range, 42 to 72 years) over the last 8 years underwent reconstruction after SCJ infection. There was 1 case of a type A defect, 10 type B defects, and 1 type C defect. Reconstruction was performed using the pectoralis major flap in 6 cases (50%), the latissimus dorsi flap in 4 cases (33%), secondary closure in 1 case and; the latissimus and the rectus flap in 1 case.
All wounds healed uneventfully with no flap failure. Nine patients had good shoulder motion. Three patients with extensive clavicular resection had restricted shoulder abduction and were unable to abduct their arm past 90°. Internal and external rotation were not affected.
We highlight our reconstructive algorithm which is summarised as follows: for an isolated type B SCJ defect we recommend the ipsilateral pectoralis major muscle for closure. For a type C bilateral defect, we suggest the latissimum dorsi flap. In cases of extensive infection where the thoracoacromial and internal mammary vessels are thrombosed, the pectoralis major and rectus abdominus cannot be used; and the latissimus dorsi flap is chosen.
Sternoclavicular joint; Infectious arthritis; Surgical flap
Although retrosternal abscess is a well known complication of sternotomy and intravenous drug abuse, to date it has not been described as a consequence of trigger point injections. There are reported cases of serious complications as a result of this procedure including epidural abscess, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomyelitis and gas gangrene.
A 37-year-old African-American woman, who was 20 weeks pregnant, presented to our emergency room with complaints of progressively worsening chest pain and shortness of breath over the course of the last two months. She was undergoing trigger point injections at multiple different sites including the sternoclavicular joint for chest pain and dystonia. Two years previously she had developed a left-sided pneumothorax as a result of this procedure, requiring chest tube placement and subsequent pleurodesis. Her vital signs in our emergency room were normal except for resting tachycardia, with a pulse of 100 beats per minute. A physical examination revealed swelling and tenderness of the sternal notch with tenderness to palpation over the left sternoclavicular joint. Laboratory data was significant for a white blood count of 13.3 × 109/L with 82% granulocytes. A chest radiograph revealed left basilar scarring with blunting of the left costophrenic angle. A computed tomography angiogram showed a 4.7 cm abscess in the retrosternal region behind the manubrium with associated sclerosis and cortical irregularity of the manubrium and left clavicle.
Trigger point injection is generally considered very safe. However, there are reported cases of serious complications as a result of this procedure. A computed tomography scan of the chest should strongly be considered in the evaluation of chest pain and shortness of breath of unclear etiology in patients with even a remote history of trigger point injections.
Spondylodiscitis is a rare disease which is generally seen after long-term epidural catheterization. However, spondylidiscitis developing after diagnostic lumbar puncture is very rare. Early diagnosis has a crucial role in the management of the disease and inclines the morbidity rates. However, the diagnosis is often delayed due to the rarity and insidious onset of the disease usually presenting with low back pain which has a high frequency in the society. If it is diagnosed early before development of an abscess requiring surgery or neurological deficit, it responds to antimicrobial therapy quite well. We report 66-year-old male case of spondylodiscitis developing after diagnostic lumbar puncture. The patient was treated with antimicrobial therapy. After antimicrobial therapy, findings of spondylodiscitis were completely resolved and no recurrence was seen in the period of 9-month followup.
Surgical repair of an atraumatic spontaneous anterior subluxation of the sternoclavicular joint (herein referred to as the “SCJ”) is often associated with poor outcome expectations. With traditional treatment, successful conservative therapy usually incorporates major lifestyle alterations. This manuscript discusses a novel approach known as “microperforation prolotherapy”. To illustrate the technique, the care of a patient who benefitted from this treatment is reviewed.
To present a novel form of treatment with an illustrative case that demonstrates the potential efficacy of microperforation prolotherapy of the SCJ.
Patient and methods
A novel approach to treatment of bilateral subluxation of the sternoclavicular joint with microperforation prolotherapy is discussed. The clinical course of a 21-year-old male with bilateral subluxation of the SCJ, which seriously hampered the patient’s athletic and daily living activities, is used as a backdrop to the discussion.
Following microperforation prolotherapy, the instability of the SCJ was replaced by full stability, complete range of motion, and the opportunity to engage in all of the athletic endeavors previously pursued. There is no scar or other cosmetic defect resulting from the treatment received.
Anterior sternoclavicular joint subluxation has a poor record of complete recovery with surgical procedures or conservative measures with regard to providing restoration of full lifestyle function. This manuscript documents a novel microperforation prolotherapy treatment that induced healing and restored full stability to the ligament structures responsible for the condition in a completely safe and effective fashion, allowing the patient to resume full lifestyle activities without restriction. The exceptional response to treatment noted here is encouragement for further studies.
sternoclavicular joint subluxation; shoulder pain; sternoclavicular instability; spontaneous instability; anterior subluxation
Septic arthritis typically presents as a hot, swollen joint. Rapid recognition and treatment of this condition is essential to prevent permanent joint damage. However, septic arthritis does not always present in a textbook manner. The case presented here concerns septic arthritis affecting the right sternoclavicular joint. The patient did not have any risk factors for septic arthritis and presented with a swollen tender joint that was not hot. He was treated with penicillin and then amoxicillin for a total of 12 weeks and made a full recovery. The organism isolated from his right sternoclavicular joint was Neisseria elongata, which is the first ever documented case of this organism causing septic arthritis. This case emphasises that the suspicion of septic arthritis should remain high when unexplained monoarthritis occurs and there should be a low threshold in treating monoarthritis as septic arthritis even in the absence of risk factors.
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.
Intervertebral disk herniation is relatively common. Migration usually occurs in the ventral epidural space; rarely, disks migrate to the dorsal epidural space due to the natural anatomical barriers of the thecal sac.
A 49-year-old man presented with 1 week of severe back pain with bilateral radiculopathy to the lateral aspect of his lower extremities and weakness of the ankle dorsiflexors and toe extensors. Lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging with gadolinium revealed a peripheral enhancing dorsal epidural lesion with severe compression of the thecal sac. Initial differential diagnosis included spontaneous hematoma, synovial cyst, and epidural abscess. Posterior lumbar decompression was performed; intraoperatively, the lesion was identified as a large herniated disk fragment.
Dorsal migration of a herniated intervertebral disk is rare and may be difficult to definitively diagnose preoperatively. Dorsal disk migration may present in a variety of clinical scenarios and, as in this case, may mimic other epidural lesions on magnetic resonance imaging.
Vertebral disk, herniation; Back pain, radiculopathy; Abscess, epidural; Hematoma, epidural; Laminectomy; Decompression, lumbar
Sacral epidural abscesses are rare infections, often managed with open surgery, especially in the presence of acute neurological symptoms. We report a novel approach for minimally invasive drainage of sacral epidural abscesses.
A 51-year-old man presented to the emergency department complaining of low back pain, generalized muscle pain, pain across several large joints, low-grade fever, and weakness of both legs for ten days. MRI of the patient's lumbosacral spine showed osteomyelitis involving his L5, S1 vertebrae, L5-S1 discitis, as well as anterior and posterior epidural abscesses extending from L5-S1 disc space to the S2 vertebral level. Under CT fluoroscopic guidance a 20-gauge spinal needle was inserted into the sacral hiatus, parallel to the pelvic surface of the sacral canal, and directed cranially. A 0.18-gauge microwire was then advanced through the 20-gauge needle. The 20-gauge needle was exchanged over the guidewire for an 18-gauge blunt tipped needle which was curved to approximate the contours of the sacral canal. The curved needle was inserted through the sacral hiatus with its concavity initially facing upwards, and then rotated 180° to gain access to epidural abscess.
Once anatomic access was established 5cc of thick purulent material was evacuated. The patient tolerated the procedure well, and no focal nerve root symptoms were noted following the procedure.
Image guided aspiration of sacral epidural abscesses can be carried out in a safe and effective manner using CT fluoroscopy. Aspiration of these abscesses combined with intravenous antibiotics may be an alternative to open surgery in select patients.
sacral abscess, osteomielitis, spine, percutaneous drainage
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.
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.
Salmonella Ohio; Non-typhi salmonellosis; Extra-intestinal focal infection; Immunocompetent patient
Among the multiple causes of chronic low back pain, axial and discogenic pain are common. Various modalities of treatments are utilized in managing discogenic and axial low back pain including epidural injections. However, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the effectiveness, indications, and medical necessity of any treatment modality utilized for managing axial or discogenic pain, including epidural injections. In an interventional pain management practice in the US, a randomized, double-blind, active control trial was conducted. The objective was to assess the effectiveness of lumbar interlaminar epidural injections of local anesthetic with or without steroids for managing chronic low back pain of discogenic origin. However, disc herniation, radiculitis, facet joint pain, or sacroiliac joint pain were excluded. Two groups of patients were studied, with 60 patients in each group receiving either local anesthetic only or local anesthetic mixed with non-particulate betamethasone. Primary outcome measures included the pain relief-assessed by numeric rating scale of pain and functional status assessed by the, Oswestry Disability Index, Secondary outcome measurements included employment status, and opioid intake. Significant improvement or success was defined as at least a 50% decrease in pain and disability. Significant improvement was seen in 77% of the patients in Group I and 67% of the patients in Group II. In the successful groups (those with at least 3 weeks of relief with the first two procedures), the improvement was 84% in Group I and 71% in Group II. For those with chronic function-limiting low back pain refractory to conservative management, it is concluded that lumbar interlaminar epidural injections of local anesthetic with or without steroids may be an effective modality for managing chronic axial or discogenic pain. This treatment appears to be effective for those who have had facet joints as well as sacroiliac joints eliminated as the pain source.
lumbar disc herniation; axial or discogenic pain; lumbar interlaminar epidural injections; local anesthetic; steroids; controlled comparative local anesthetic blocks; NCT00681447
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.
Glenohumeral tuberculous arthritis; Beta haemolytic streptococcus; Septic arthritis
Infectious spondylodiscitis is an uncommon disease with increasing incidence that typically presents with abnormalities in two adjacent vertebral bodies and the intervening disk. We describe two cases that initially presented with imaging abnormalities in only a single vertebral body. Both patients had a history of lumbar back pain and elevated inflammatory markers, but the lack of classical spondylodiscitis imaging findings led to diagnostic delay and confusion. It is likely that the incidence of atypical presentations of spondy-lodiscitis will increase as the disease incidence increases and imaging is performed at an earlier stage. It is important to recognize the disease early because early diagnosis is the key to preventing serious complications like epidural abscess and spinal cord compression.
Mycobacterium abscessus is a member of the Rapidly Growing Mycobacterium (RGM). The incidence of Mycobacterium abscessus infections has steadily been increasing over the last decade. We report the case of an epidural abscess caused by Mycobacterium abscessus. RGM’s have infrequently been reported as spinal infections and we found no prior cases reporting M. abscessus as the definitive etiologic agent of an epidural abscess.
A 50 year old female presented with significant back pain and was found to have an epidural abscess by magnetic resonance imaging. The abscess was drained via needle. Initial cultures were negative for bacterial pathogens, and the patient was discharged to a skilled nursing facility for empiric antibiotic treatment. Eventually the culture grew Mycobacterium abscessus. The patient had unfortunately left the nursing facility and was lost to follow up.
Mycobacterium abscessus is an increasingly recognized pathogen with particular risk factors that physicians should be aware of. Central nervous system infections are rare, but do occur. Treatment is difficult, though multiple antibiotic regimens have been reported successful. Surgical debridement is often needed.
Mycobacterium abscessus; epidural abscess; osteomyelitis