Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint

J Craniofac Surg. 2012 Nov;23(6):1752-4. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3182646061.


Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint is a rare acute infectious disease that requires attention from physicians and, once misdiagnosed, can have several implications for a patient. The most common microorganisms related to this disease are Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus. The infection of the joint may be caused by a direct spread of a local infection or by hematogenous inoculation from a distant focus. General predisposing factors, such as immunodepression, can eventually be found. The aim of the current study was to report a case in which a patient with an articular infection resulting from hematogenous dissemination from a distant site was successfully treated using joint drainage and systemic antibiotics. Secretion culture from the temporomandibular joint space was positive for S. aureus. After 1 month of antimicrobial therapy, the patient was asymptomatic and mandibular function was normal. Literature related to this topic was reviewed and discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents