Infection is a difficult problem in the musculoskeletal system as it is often hard to diagnose and treatment is prolonged. We will look at two types of infection:

1. Septic Arthritis - infection within a joint.
2. Osteomyelitis - infection of bone itself.

Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is a surgical emergency. It is the most rapid and destructive joint disease and has a significant morbidity with a mortality rate of 10%. The incidence is 2-rn per 100 000 in the general population and 30-70 per 100 000 in those with pre-existing joint disease or joint replacement.

Book chapter


Osteomyelitis is the infection of bone itself. It is most commonly thought of as chronic though it does also present acutely. Particularly in the acute phase diagnosis can be difficult, as x-ray changes only develop after 10 days.

Osteomyelitis <Link to follow>