Septic arthritis after arthroscopy: the contributing roles of intraarticular steroids and environmental factors

Am J Infect Control. 1994 Feb;22(1):16-8. doi: 10.1016/0196-6553(94)90086-8.


During a 9-month period at a small surgical center, seven cases of postarthroscopic septic arthritis occurred after 352 arthroscopic procedures, for an infection rate of 2.0%. Electrocardiographic cables contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa from an unsterile cleaning solution probably led to two shoulder infections. Five other infections (one definite Staphylococcus aureus and three definite and one possible coagulase-negative staphylococci) were attributed to inadequate arthroscope disinfection. In the initial phase of the outbreak, use of intraoperative intraarticular corticosteroids correlated with the occurrence of infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Infectious / etiology*
  • Arthroscopy*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Methylprednisolone / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / etiology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Methylprednisolone