Surgical Management of Septic Arthritis of the Knee With a Coexistent Popliteal Cyst

Josef K. Eichinger, Eric M. Bluman, Steven D. Sides, Edward D. Arrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We report a case of knee pyarthrosis in a 54-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis and a popliteal cyst. The onset of infection coincided with a cortisone injection. Initial management consisted of arthroscopic irrigation and debridement (I&D) on 2 consecutive occasions without resolution of the infection. Only after open excision of the popliteal cyst in conjunction with I&D of the knee joint proper did the infection resolve. This is the first reported case of a patient requiring excision of a popliteal cyst to clear pyarthrosis of the knee after failure of arthroscopic I&D. Consideration should be given to open debridement or drainage of popliteal cysts in patients who present with septic arthritis in the presence of a popliteal cyst. A treatment algorithm for managing this clinical scenario is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-700
Number of pages5
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthroscopy
  • Infection
  • Knee
  • Popliteal cyst
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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