The Design and Process of Ultrasound Guided Evaluation of Septic Arthritis in Emergency Departments
Author(s): Scott C Everett, Andrew L Alejo, Haley Durdella, Benjamin L Boswell
The current standard of evaluating septic arthritis in the emergency department involves arthrocentesis analysis and culture. Culture results can then help guide pathogen specific treatment. Without prompt treatment of septic arthritis, the joint undergoes irreversible destruction leading to chronic pain and need for surgical replacement. Therefore, we propose an additional method and process of using ultrasound imaging in order to evaluate certain findings that could be used to help diagnose septic arthritis without having to undergo additional procedures. Using the ultrasound prior to doing arthrocentesis can help increase available information that allows the emergency department physician to use their best clinical judgment as to the proceeding treatment or need for additional testing. This improves the quality of care for our patients in a cost effective manner. By outlining the steps involved, including the specific ultrasound technique, further studies can be guided in order to find specific imaging findings using ultrasonography that correlates to septic arthritis.