Recognition and appropriate management of an acute monoarthritis requires
strategic assembly and analysis of information from the history, the examination and a few selective tests.
- Common causes of monoarthritis are infection, trauma and crystal-induced synovitis.
- Monoarthritis must be regarded as potentially septic until proven otherwise.
- Synovial fluid examination is the most important investigation.
- Polyarticular conditions can present initially with a single inflamed joint.
- Contextual information and extra-articular features often provide clues to the underlying diagnosis.