Acute suppurative arthritis of the stifle joint was diagnosed in 34 Holstein heifers between 1976 and 1986. Only 1 stifle joint was affected in each heifer; however, 1 heifer also had involvement of the contralateral radiocarpal joint. In each heifer, there was marked lameness and synovitis characterized by an effusion with high synovial fluid nucleated cell counts and total protein concentration. Seventy-four percent (25/34) of the heifers had radiographic evidence of an osteolytic lesion involving the lateral tibial plateau. Bacteriologic cultures of synovial fluid, synovial membrane, and bone yielded no growth. Eighteen of 23 (78%) affected heifers for which follow-up data was obtained became productive herd members after treatment.