Septic arthritis can be divided into several stages arthroscopically:
■ Stage I: opacity of fluid, redness of the synovial membrane, possible petechial bleeding, no radiological alterations.
■ Stage II: severe inflammation, fibrinous deposition, pus, no radiological alterations.
■ Stage III: thickening of the synovial membrane, compartment formation ("spongelike" arthroscopic view, especially in the suprapatellar pouch), no radiological alterations.
■ Stage IV: aggressive pannus with infiltration of the cartilage, possibly undermining the cartilage, radiological signs of subchondral osteoly-sis, possible osseous erosions and cysts.
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