Test Your Knowledge of Managing Acute Joint Pain in Urgent Care (Postscript 1 of 2)

Evidence-Based Urgent Care Postscript
Diagnosis and Management of Acute Joint Pain for the
Urgent Care Clinician | December 2023

An 8-year-old girl is brought to urgent care by her parents with a complaint of pain and swelling in her right knee. The parents report that the symptoms started 5 days ago and have gotten worse. They are concerned because she is unable to bear weight on that leg. There is no known history of recent trauma. The patient’s temperature is 38.6°C. On examination, her right knee is swollen, warm, and erythematous. The joint is exquisitely tender. Your urgent care clinic does not have the supplies to perform arthrocentesis. Which of the following is the best next step in the evaluation of this patient?

a. Order x-rays and serum blood tests.

b. Refer the patient to the ED.

c. Refer the patient to an orthopedic surgeon.

d. Assume this is septic arthritis and initiate antibiotic therapy, then send her home.

Click to see the answer

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