Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint: A unique late complication after tracheostomy

Kayvon F. Sharif, Fred M. Baik, Ameya A. Jategaonkar, Azita S. Khorsandi, Mark L. Urken

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint is a rare infection associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Several risk factors for septic arthritis have been reported in the literature ranging from immunodeficiency to intravenous drug use. Case presentation: A 63-year-old male previously treated for synchronous squamous cell carcinomas of the epiglottis and floor of mouth presented with tenderness and swelling of the sternoclavicular joint two months after tracheostomy decannulation. Computed tomography and bone scans confirmed the diagnosis of septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint. The patient's clinical course, surgical treatment, and management considerations are discussed here. Conclusion: Septic arthritis of the SCJ is a rare but serious infection. Once diagnosed, septic arthritis of the SCJ should be promptly treated to prevent further morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-648
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Septic arthritis
  • Sternoclavicular joint
  • Tracheostomy complications


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