Bilateral sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis secondary to indwelling central venous catheter: a case report

Department of General Surgery, Kings Mill Hospital, Mansfield, UK.
Journal of Medical Case Reports 02/2008; 2:131. DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-131
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint is rare, comprising approximately 0.5% to 1% of all joint infections. Predisposing causes include immunocompromising diseases such as diabetes, HIV infection, renal failure and intravenous drug abuse.
We report a rare case of bilateral sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis in an elderly patient secondary to an indwelling right subclavian vein catheter. The insidious nature of the presentation is highlighted. We also review the literature regarding the epidemiology, investigation and methods of treatment of the condition.
SCJ infections are rare, and require a high degree of clinical suspicion. Vague symptoms of neck and shoulder pain may cloud the initial diagnosis, as was the case in our patient. Surgical intervention is often required; however, our patient avoided major intervention and settled with parenteral antibiotics and washout of the joint.

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