Spontaneous septic arthritis in a patient without trauma, coinfection, or immunosuppression

Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Nov;31(11):1623.e3-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.06.029. Epub 2013 Sep 21.


Septic arthritis is a rare infection, most often affecting the knee and hip [1]. Infections are often secondary to joint repair or replacement surgery, systemic infection, or intravenous recreational drug use [1,2].Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatic dysfunction, and immunosuppression are common risk factors [1,2]. Although septic arthritis can occur spontaneously, such occurrences are rare. We report a case of a previously healthy 54-year-old woman with no known risk factors presenting to a freestanding emergency department with 5 days of shoulder pain.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Infectious / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology