Foreign body induced septic arthritis of the finger

Case contributed by Dr Maulik S Patel


Thorn injury to the dorsal aspect of the second proximal interphalangeal joint 19 days ago. Now complaining of index finger swelling and loss of movement.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

Proximal interphalangeal joint:

  • effusion in dorsal as well as palmer recess
  • synovial thickening and hypervascularity present
  • erosion on dorsal aspect of proximal phalanx (also seen on plain radiograph - not uploaded)
  • linear echogenic focus (1.2 mm long) is seen deep to extensor tendon consistent a foreign body; it is deep to ulnar side of lateral slip of extensor tendon

Flexor tendon is intact with no evidence of tenosynovitis. Extensor tendon is intact.

Soft tissue edema on dorsal as well as palmer aspect of proximal interphalangeal joint with hypervascularity.      

Intra-operative photos show a tiny dark colored focus (a foreign body) and erosion of the phalanx. 

Case Discussion

Ultrasound findings of a foreign body induced septic arthritis of index finger proximal interphalangeal joint.

Surgical exploration revealed a foreign body (thorn fragment) and erosion of the phalanx.

Intra-operative photos are courtesy operating surgeon, Dr Pinkesh Patel.

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Case information

rID: 50212
Published: 24th Dec 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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