Late sequelae of neonatal septic arthritis of the shoulder
We reviewed eight children (ten shoulders) who had suffered neonatal sepsis, after a mean follow-up of 14 years (11 to 15). The delay between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis was one day in five patients, two days in three and seven days in one. All ten shoulders were treated by aspiration, followed by arthrotomy in two. At follow-up, five of the ten shoulders had a full range of movement and the others had minimal restriction of external rotation. Shortening of 10 cm was present in one patient, while two with bilateral involvement had disproportionally short humeri.
Early diagnosis and treatment favour the outcome in septic arthritis of the shoulder.With late diagnosis, deformation of the humeral head and shortening of the humerus cause marked cosmetic abnormality but negligible functional loss.
J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:645-50.