Septic Arthritis of the Wrist

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2018 Feb 15;26(4):109-115. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-16-00414.


Septic arthritis of the wrist is an uncommon condition, but one that can result in substantial morbidity. Timely identification and treatment is critical to patient care. No serum laboratory values have been shown to consistently confirm wrist joint infection. Thus, diagnosis is made based mainly on a thorough patient history, physical examination, and joint aspiration. When infection is suspected, aspiration of the wrist should be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Broad-spectrum antibiotics and joint aspiration or surgery are required to manage the infection and prevent sequelae.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Infectious / blood
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Infectious / therapy*
  • Arthrocentesis
  • Drainage
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Physical Examination*
  • Synovial Fluid / cytology
  • Synovial Fluid / microbiology*
  • Wrist Joint* / diagnostic imaging


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents