Otogenic temporomandibular septic arthritis in a child: A case report and a review of the literature

Massimo Luca Castellazzi, Laura Senatore, Giada Di Pietro, Raffaella Pinzani, Sara Torretta, Ilaria Coro, Antonio Russillo, Irene Borzani, Samantha Bosis, Paola Marchisio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute otitis media is one of the most common infectious diseases in the paediatric age and although its complications such as acute mastoiditis have become rare thanks to improvements in therapeutic approaches, possible serious complications such as septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint may develop. A prompt diagnosis and adequate treatment are essential to achieving the best outcome and avoiding serious sequelae. We describe a case occurring in a previously healthy 6-year-old female and review the literature currently available on this topic. Case presentation: The patient presented a right temporomandibular septic arthritis with initial mandibular bone involvement secondary to acute otitis media. She presented with torcicollis, trismus, right preauricular swelling over the temporomandibular joint and was successfully treated with antibiotic treatment alone. Conclusions: Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint is a rare complication of acute otitis media or acute mastoiditis in children. It should be suspected in patients presenting with trismus, preauricular swelling or fever. No guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of this infectious disease are currently available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 22 2019


  • Acute otitis media
  • Children
  • Septic arthritis
  • Temporomandibular joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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