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Clinical Results After Arthroscopic Treatment for Septic Arthritis of the Elbow Joint

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to examine clinical findings of septic arthritis of the elbow joint in a series of immunocompetent patients and to evaluate the outcomes after arthroscopic treatment.

      Methods

      Between October 2006 and January 2012, 11 patients with septic arthritis of the elbow underwent arthroscopic surgery. History, laboratory findings, and radiologic findings were reviewed. Functional outcomes were evaluated using the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS).

      Results

      The study included 5 men and 6 women with a mean age of 45 years. An underlying medical disease was present in 1 patient (diabetes). Staphylococcus aureus was the most common organism identified (5 patients). There was 1 reoperation and no complications related to the arthroscopic procedure. Eight of 11 patients had excellent results assessed by MEPS at the final follow-up. The mean MEPS was 94.5 at the final follow-up.

      Conclusions

      Septic arthritis of the elbow joint can occur in otherwise healthy patients without pre-existing elbow disease. Arthroscopic irrigation and synovectomy are safe and effective in patients with septic arthritis and result in good functional outcomes.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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      • Errata
        ArthroscopyVol. 30Issue 8
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          In the article “Clinical Results After Arthroscopic Treatment for Septic Arthritis of the Elbow Joint” published in the June 2014 issue (Arthroscopy 2014;30:673-678), the second author's name was spelled Bilaris instead of Biraris. The corrected byline is Jun-Gyu Moon, M.D., Ph.D., Sandeep Biraris, M.D., Wong-Kyo Jeong, M.D., Ph.D., and Jung-Hoon Kim, M.D.
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