Needle Arthroscopy for Bacterial Arthritis of a Native Joint: Surgical Technique for the Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Knee, and Ankle Under Local Anesthesia

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Suspected bacterial arthritis of a native joint requires urgent management to control potential life-threatening sepsis and limit cartilage damage. Diagnosing bacterial arthritis is often challenging and relies on diagnostic tests with low accuracy. A high threshold for surgery poses a risk of undertreatment, whereas a low threshold for surgery could lead to overtreatment with unnecessary invasive and costly procedures. Surgical lavage through arthroscopy or arthrotomy is generally considered standard treatment. Nowadays, needle arthroscopy provides an alternative and potentially less-invasive approach that can safely lower the surgical threshold. Needle arthroscopy can be performed directly upon presentation at the patient's bedside, as it is well tolerated under local anesthesia. Therefore, this Technical Note presents a stepwise guideline for performing standardized needle arthroscopic lavage in patients with (suspected) bacterial arthritis of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1641-e1648
JournalArthroscopy Techniques
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

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