• Vol. 35 No. 2, 100–103
  • 15 February 2006

Septic Monoarthritis and Osteomyelitis in an Elderly Man Following Klebsiella pneumoniae Genitourinary Infection: Case Report



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Introduction: Klebsiella pneumoniae septic arthritis and osteomyelitis, albeit uncommon in adults, are important sites of disseminated infection. Many case reports have shown K. pneumoniae as a cause of nosocomial transmitted septic arthritis in neonates and children. We report a rare case of an elderly patient with K. pneumoniae genitourinary infection spreading to the liver and other extra hepatic sites like the prostate and peripheral joint.

Clinical Picture: The patient presented with a short history of general malaise, fever and urinary symptoms, associated with an acute monoarthritis of the ankle. On admission, he was in septic shock. Investigations suggested an infective cause, as evidenced by raised total white cell count and pyuria. K. pneumoniae was cultured from both urine and ankle synovial fluid. Imaging confirmed multiple liver and prostatic abscesses, as well as osteomyelitis of the foot bones adjacent to the ankle.

Treatment: Treatment in this case included surgical drainage of the affected joint and surrounding soft tissue structures, in addition to a 6-week course of systemic antibiotics.

Outcome: The patient had good clinical response following treatment. In addition, we noted a normalisation of his laboratory parameters and resolution of the intraabdominal and pelvic abscesses.

Conclusion: This case emphasises the importance of timely and accurate diagnosis followed by appropriate treatment in disseminated K. pneumoniae infection to prevent significant morbidity and mortality.

Despite improved antimicrobial therapy over the past 30 years, there has been little change in the incidence, outcome, or, causative organisms in septic arthritis. Staphylococcus aureus is the commonest cause of septic arthritis and various series reported rates of 17% to 80%.

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