The pathological invasion of a joint and subsequent inflammation is known as septic arthritis. The hip and knee are the most frequently involved joints. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of septic arthritis in children. In clinical practice, the diagnosis of septic arthritis is based on isolation of causative organism from the joint fluid or positive blood cultures plus clinical and/or radiological signs and symptoms consistent with septic arthritis.


A retrospective analysis was undertaken of paediatric joint infections presenting to the Gold Coast Orthopaedic Department between January 2008 and December 2017.


A total of 155 children < 17 years old fulfilled the recruitment criteria for inclusion. 93 patients were excluded for coding issues, incorrect diagnosis and multiple encounters of the same patient with different medical teams.

Of the 62 patients in the cohort the hip was the most common joint involved (23) following by knee (16), elbow (8), ankle (6), foot (5), shoulder (2) and wrist (2). Two of the organisms were confirmed from ward aspirates and 59 from intraoperative samples. Of the microbes identified aseptic was the most common (48%) followed by MSSA (29%), step pyogenes (5%), MRSA (3%), strep pneumonia (3%), pseudomonas (3%), kingella kingae (3%), serratia marcescens (3%), haemophilus parainfuenzae (2%).


This study is the first to publish the epidemiological profile of paediatric joint infections on the Gold Coast Australia and highlights the most common identified pathogens but also highlights the variety of organisms implicated in the condition.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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