A shortened course of parenteral antibiotic therapy in the management of acute septic arthritis of the hip.
We reviewed 20 consecutive patients with a culture-proven acute septic arthritis of the hip who were treated with a shortened course of parenteral antibiotic therapy after a surgical drainage. Patients were switched over to an oral antibiotic when they showed clinical improvement. Sixteen of the 20 patients had parenteral antibiotic therapy of <10 days, whereas nine of these patients received <7 days of parenteral therapy (mean, 8.2 days). No recurrence of infection, readmission, or osteomyelitis was observed after the discharge. At the follow-up interview (mean, 32 months), 18 patients were completely asymptomatic, and two patients had occasional hip pain with activity but no physical limitations. All 20 patients had normal hip range of motion and gait. Their latest radiographs (mean, 26 months) revealed 11 patients with normal findings, six patients with mild coxa magna, and three patients with a smaller ossific nucleus compared with the unaffected side. We conclude that a community-acquired, acute gram-positive septic arthritis of the hip can be managed safely with a surgical drainage and a shortened course of parenteral antibiotic therapy, which can be switched over to an oral therapy based on the patient's response to the therapy.
Kim, HK; Alman, B; Cole, WG
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