Neonatal septic arthritis - a challenging diagnosis


  • Andreia Ferreira Orthopedic Service, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho
  • Bruno Barbosa Orthopedic Service, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho
  • Ana Sousa Pereira Paediatric Service, Centro Hospitalar Algarve
  • Catarina Maia Paediatric Service, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho
  • Mafalda Santos Paediatric Orthopedic Service, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho



Newborn, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis


Introduction: The diagnosis of septic arthritis in newborns is dificult and requires a high degree of suspicion.

Case report: We present a case of a newborn who developed right brachial plexus palsy on the 10th day of life. By day 17, limited abduction of the right hip led to the suspicion of developmental dysplasia of the hip. An ultrasound corroborated this diagnosis and the newborn was referred to Pediatric Orthopedics. After proper study the diagnosis of a polyarticular septic arthritis was confirmed. At the age of eight years the child has a right upper limb deformity and shortening.

Discussion/conclusion: The delay in diagnosis and treatment of this pathology leads to future sequels that may be irreversible. This report underlines how difÞ cult and important is the early diagnosis of this pathology.


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How to Cite

Ferreira A, Barbosa B, Pereira AS, Maia C, Santos M. Neonatal septic arthritis - a challenging diagnosis. REVNEC [Internet]. 2016Mar.8 [cited 2024Jun.17];23(4):215-8. Available from:



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