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Lemierre’s syndrome; a rare cause of septic arthritis
  1. James B Olivier1,2,
  2. Khalid Al-Hourani2,
  3. Benjamin Bolland2
  1. 1Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Bath, UK
  2. 2Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr James B Olivier, jamesolivier2{at}


Lemierre’s syndrome is a rare condition characterised by pharyngitis leading to septic thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein. Complications include pulmonary septic emboli, septic arthritis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The authors present a case of a healthy woman aged 25 years with septic arthritis of the shoulder due to this unusual cause. This diagnosis was made via a combination of clinical, radiological and microbiological findings. It was successfully treated via surgical and antimicrobial interventions. The patient made a good recovery with minimal associated morbidity or loss of function. This case highlights the importance for awareness and high index of suspicion for rarer causes of septic arthritis in young healthy adults as early appropriate intervention maximises prognosis.

  • Orthopaedic and trauma surgery
  • Head and neck surgery
  • General surgery
  • Bone and joint infections

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  • Contributors JBO created initial manuscript. KA-H and BB revised manuscript, made adjustments and additions.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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