Late hematogenous infection of previously asymptomatic orthopedic implants is extremely rare and usually associated with total joint replacements, such as those of the hip or knee. We present the case of an otherwise healthy female who developed a deep space infection 18 months after a first metatarsophalangeal joint implant arthroplasty. The patient presented with pain and swelling at the site, and over the course of several days developed fever and tachycardia and leukocytosis. Cultures of the surrounding soft tissues and the implant grew Streptococcus pneumoniae. The patient reported a 1- to 2-week history of symptoms consistent with an upper respiratory tract infection and it is believed that this distant focus of infection was the probable source of late hematogenous seeding of the first metatarsophalangeal joint implant.
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Published online: June 30, 2010
Financial Disclosure: None reported
Conflicts of Interest: None reported
© 2010 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.