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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2016, Article ID 6384707, 4 pages
Case Report

Spontaneous Septic Arthritis of Pubic Symphysis in an Elite Athlete

1Department of Surgery, Kantonsspital Graubünden, Loëstrasse 170, 7000 Chur, Switzerland
2Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, Netherlands
3Department of Radiology, Kantonsspital Graubünden, Loëstrasse 170, 7000 Chur, Switzerland

Received 13 May 2016; Accepted 28 August 2016

Academic Editor: Mario Ganau

Copyright © 2016 F. Jasmijn Smits et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Septic arthritis of the pubic symphysis is a potentially severe disease. Athletes are at risk of this form of spontaneous arthritis, as inflammation of the pubic bone due to muscular stress is relatively common. Oedema due to inflammation might predispose to infection through bacteraemia or local bacterial translocation. Suspicion should be raised when an athlete complains of groin pain and has signs of infection (i.e., fever, elevated white blood cell count, and elevated C-reactive protein). Diagnosis is made by imaging showing signs of inflammation combined with positive (blood) cultures. Broad spectrum antibiotics should be started upon suspicion and adjusted according to cultures. An abscess causing clinical deterioration under antibiotic treatment is an indication for invasive intervention (i.e., surgical or image-guided drainage). This is the first case of spontaneous septic arthritis of the pubic symphysis in an athlete requiring surgical and additional image-guided drainage.