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This article will discuss only those cases of acute arthritis (bacterial infection of a joint) which are caused by the ordinary forms of pyogenic bacteria, staphylococci and streptococci. Cases due to infection by tubercle bacilli, syphilitic virus or actinomyces are not included; nor any case originating in any extraordinary pathology such as that associated with thrombo-angiitis obliterans or senile vascular gangrene; nor cases of joint infection complicating the forms of gangrene associated with diabetes mellitus. Cases corresponding to obscure etiologic factors, such as those commonly known as arthritis deformans, metabolic arthritis and gout, are also not included in this article.
The old terminology used in association with the phenomena of bacterial infection and including such terms as sepsis, septicemia, sapremia and pyemia will not be employed here. The reasons for this were given in a previous article and a simplified terminology was suggested. Here only the terms infection, bacteriemia and