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Hip septic arthritis and other pediatric musculoskeletal infections in the era of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Pediatric musculoskeletal infections can cause devastating complications (including death) in this era of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other virulent bacterial strains. The complexity and severity of these infections require timely diagnosis and treatment. A thorough emergency department evaluation, diagnostic workup, and early surgical intervention can influence outcomes. Septic arthritis of the hip is best treated with open drainage and antibiotic therapy to avoid osteonecrosis of the hip and joint damage. Because of genetic changes and inducible resistance, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causes more complex infections than in the past. Deep, soft-tissue abscesses; pyomyositis; osteomyelitis; and septic arthritis often occur concurrently, causing destruction of musculoskeletal tissue. Severe and life-threatening complications, such as septic emboli, deep venous thrombosis, and multiorgan system failure may result from these infections.

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