Author(s): Ross JJ, Hu LT
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Abstract We report a novel case of septic arthritis of the symphysis pubis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and review 99 previously reported cases of infection of this joint. Typical features of pubic symphysis infection included fever (74\%), pubic pain (68\%), painful or waddling gait (59\%), pain with hip motion (45\%), and groin pain (41\%). Risk factors included female incontinence surgery (24\%); sports, especially soccer (19\%); pelvic malignancy (17\%); and intravenous drug use (15\%). Septic arthritis of the pubic symphysis is often misdiagnosed as osteitis pubis, a sterile inflammatory condition. Causative organisms differed according to risk factors. Staphylococcus aureus was the major cause among athletes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa among intravenous drug users, and infections among patients with pelvic malignancies were usually polymicrobial, involving fecal flora. Patients with recent urinary incontinence surgery usually had monomicrobial infection, with no predominant pathogen. Since osteomyelitis is present in 97\% of patients, we recommend antibiotic courses of 6 weeks' duration. Surgical debridement is required in 55\% of patients.
This article was published in Medicine (Baltimore)
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis