Septic Arthritis

  • Initial pre-referral workup

    Clinical history

    • infection more common in infants and toddlers
    • hip joint more common than knee or ankle joint
    • child unwell, listless, flushed and fever
    • child cannot be coaxed to move the joint

    GP management

    Send to ED immediately and do not give antibiotics, as it will negate cultures.

    There is no need for investigations if clinically suspected.

    Refer parents to Septic arthritis in children (fact sheet).

    Indications for specialist referral


    Immediate referral to ED due to high risk to joint cartilage and growth plates.