What’s Your Diagnosis? Diagnosis and Management of Acute Joint Pain in the ED

Welcome to this month’s What’s Your Diagnosis Challenge!

But before we begin, check to see if you got last month’s case on Thoracic Aortic Syndromes in the Emergency Department: Recognition and Management right.

Case Presentation: Diagnosis and Management of Acute Joint Pain in the Emergency Department 

A 43-year-old man has arrived by ambulance with complaints of severe pain in his right ankle and left knee. He is unable to ambulate. There is no history of trauma, travel, or rash. You wonder why the patient called EMS for joint pain, but then you see his vital signs: 116 beats/min pulse, 39.2°C temperature, 100/70 mm Hg blood pressure, 22 breaths/min respiration, and pulse ox 98% on room air. You wonder whether you should tap the joints and start empiric antibiotics… 

Make your best guess, and check back next month to find out the correct answer!

Click to review this Emergency Medicine Practice Issue

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