SEPTIC ARTHRITIS of the hip is a serious but little-known complication of perforation of abdominal organs. It is our purpose to bring this complication to the attention of physicians who care for either the patient with a perforation of an abdominal organ or with septic arthritis of the hip. It is also our purpose to discuss the anatomic pathways involved in this sequential complication. The magnitude of the signs, symptoms, and prognosis of the abdominal problem is such that frequently the hip-joint problem may be masked.
Five cases of septic arthritis of the hip secondary to perforation of an abdominal organ have recently come to our attention. Three of the cases followed bowel perforations associated with diverticulitis; one followed traumatic rupture of the bladder and acetabular fracture; and the fifth case followed perforation of the uterus after remote radiation treatment for carcinoma of the cervix. The interval from the estimated