A Case Report of Pneumococcal Septic Arthritis Following a Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Prodrome with Accompanying Literature Review
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We report an uncommon case of septic arthritis of the ankle from a Streptococcus pneumoniae infection and provide an update of the literature reported since 2002. A 58-year-old female presented to the hospital with right ankle pain and an inability to bear weight. She reported a history of productive cough, vomiting, diarrhea, and subjective fevers 4 days earlier. Streptococcus pneumonia was identified in her ankle aspirate, and she was treated urgently with operative incision and debridement, followed by postoperative intravenous antibiotics. At her 7-week follow-up, she demonstrated complete resolution of symptoms and near-complete recovery of range of motion. This case demonstrates the importance of early identification, as the majority of patients recover fully with prompt treatment. The literature review included 44 cases of pneumococcal septic arthritis and found that the knee was the most commonly affected joint, followed by the shoulder and ankle. Blood cultures were positive for S. pneumoniae in 27 of 38 adults (71%) and 4 of 6 children (67%). Comorbid conditions were present in 32 of 38 adults (84%) and 4 of 7 children (57%), the most frequent of which were alcoholism and osteoarthritis in adults and malignancy or immunosuppression in children. Additionally, roughly half of included adults had an extra-articular focus of pneumococcal disease, most frequently pneumonia. Operative treatment was undertaken in 32 of 38 adults (84%) and all 7 children. Of adults with data available, 24 of 33 (73%) recovered with complete joint function, compared with 5 of 7 children (71%).
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