Objective: Septic arthritis and osteomyelitis are rare in children, but they are difficult to treat and are associated with a high rate of sequelae. This paper addresses the main clinical issues related to septic arthritis and osteomyelitis by means of a systematic review of systematic reviews.
Materials and methods: The major electronic databases were searched for systematic reviews/meta-analyses septic arthritis and osteomyelitis. The papers that fulfilled the inclusion/exclusion criteria were selected.
Results: There were four systematic reviews on septic arthritis and four on osteomyelitis. Independent assessment of their methodological quality by two reviewers using AMSTAR 2 indicated that its criteria were not consistently followed.
Conclusions: Collectively, these works provide strong evidence regarding a large number of issues including classification, epidemiology and risk factors, causative organisms, clinical presentation, laboratory markers, imaging, diagnostic needle aspiration, antibiotic therapy, surgical therapy, and prognosis. A clinical summary based on the best evidence is supplied.