Septic arthritis is a rare complication of acupuncture. We present a patient with rheumatoid arthritis who developed septic arthritis of the right knee after consecutive weekly sessions of acupuncture therapy for 3 weeks. The infection was localized by musculoskeletal sonography and magnetic resonance imaging, with culture of the synovial fluid aspirated from the joint yielding Listeria monocytogenes. The patient responded well to antibiotic treatment and regained joint mobility. A high index of suspicion for an infectious process is required for prompt diagnosis and treatment of acupuncture-induced joint infections in rheumatoid arthritis patients who might have additional risk factors for infection.
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