Neugebauer C, Graf R.
Bacterial arthritis is a rare and usually protracted disease and complication which can cause substantial permanent damage. At the first indication of such an infection, rapid and efficient therapy is required. In general, after a rapid diagnosis and subsequent therapy in early stage of the disease, a complete cure should be effected. In the case of children timely diagnosis and therapy lead to a very good chance of cure. In the case of adults under 50 years, the chances of a cure after an infectious arthritis are still good to very good. For patients older than 50, however, the chances of permanent damage after a joint infection are high.Severe damage in the region of a joint frequently leads to the accusation of medical error. Due to the often undetermined reasons for an infection, common pre- and concurrent illnesses, the long course of the disease, and the often substantial long-term damage, it is necessary for the medical specialist asked for an expert opinion on the question of cause to be particularly careful. The expert must take into consideration not only the permanent damage but must also estimate the future consequences of the disease.
Orthopade. 2004 Apr;33(4):483-94.