Septic arthritis and osteomyelitis often present with a subacute course of illness and vague signs and symptoms. Both diagnoses are true emergencies, and these conditions must be promptly diagnosed and treated to avoid adverse sequalae.
Patients with SA or OM classically present with fever, ill appearance, malaise, pain, and swelling of the involved joint. Given the large differential diagnosis for a limping child, obtaining a thorough history and physical examination is paramount to narrowing the differential diagnosis and to obtain the appropriate testing and treatments.
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Review this Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice issue to get up-to-date evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and management of pediatric patients with septic arthritis and/or osteomyelitis and offers guidance for appropriate antibiotic treatment.
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Last Updated on December 13, 2021