Document Type



Orthopaedic Surgery


Objective: To present clinical, radiological and bacteriological features and short term outcome of septic arthritis of the hip in children.
Methods: There were 23 male and 16 female children, including 6 neonates and 10 infants with a mean age of 3.9 years. Diagnosis of septic hip was made on clinical grounds, supplemented by X-rays, leukocyte count and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Thirty nine patients with 40 hips were followed for a mean time period of 76 weeks. All patients had a positive joint aspirate (pus) and underwent surgical decompression along with intravenous antibiotic therapy.
Results: Symptoms of pain, fever and restricted range of hip motion were common to all patients. The mean leukocyte count was 14,000 and the mean ESR was 63 mm. Cultures of blood and joint aspirate were positive in 9 and 28 patients respectively. Staphylococus Aureus was the commonest organism (14 patients) identified, and only one patient had Hemophilus influenzae. Seven patients had a mixed osteoarticular infection. Positive clinical response was noted in the mean time period of 8.6 days. In follow-up, four cases developed myositis ossificans and 2 cases showed signs of partial growth plate destruction.
Conclusion: Our findings of the absence of H. influenzae and the presence of a number of gut organisms are different from the previous studies. Duration of symptoms was an important prognostic factor and correlated well with the final outcome. Early surgical decompression was found to be the treatment of choice. A combined osteoarticular infection should be kept in mind in cases which show a poor response after the initial joint debridement.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association