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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 480-482

Septic arthritis in the temporomandibular joint

Department of Internal Medicine, Pinnacle Health Systems, Harrisburg PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Hassan Mahdi Al-Khalisy
Department of Internal Medicine, 6809 Clubhouse Drive, Apt A5, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-17111
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.168678

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Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a rare event that has only been reported a few dozen times worldwide. This case is remarkable for septic arthritis of the TMJ joint in an otherwise healthy male. Case Report: A 24-year-old male presented to the emergency department with periauricular swelling, erythema, fever, myalgia's and generalized joint pain. He had previously sought medical attention and was placed on ciprofloxacin. However, he developed facial swelling and a rash and had to discontinue the antibiotic. On physical exam the patient had a large swelling and tenderness in his left periauricular area, with erythema and deviation of the right mandible which limited his ability to open the mouth. A computed tomography showed mild asymmetric soft tissue swelling in the left pharyngeal region but did not show joint effusion. Subsequent magnetic resonance imaging did show effusion of the joint space. The effusion was drained, and the synovial fluid was submitted for gram stain, culture, and sensitivity. The cultures grew menthicillin sensitive Staphyloccocus Aureus. The patient was discharged to complete a two week course of intravenous (IV) Ceftriaxone and IV Vancomycin via home infusion. Conclusion: Septic Arthritis of the TMJ is a rare event with very specific clinical symptoms. Due to the low sensitivity of the computed tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging should be considered when computed tomography scan is negative for TMJ effusion.

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