A protocol for the treatment of subacute haematogenous osteomyelitis has been used and evaluated in 71 children. A group of 26 children with a radiologically "aggressive" lesion had biopsy followed by antibiotics and immobilisation for six weeks. A group of 45 children with 48 cavities in the metaphysis or the epiphysis or both was further subdivided according to the presence or absence of clinical signs of pus at subperiosteal level or in a joint. Children with evidence of pus had operation followed by antibiotics and immobilisation while the remaining children were treated similarly but without operation. Intravenous cloxacillin or flucloxacillin and benzylpenicillin were given in hospital for 48 hours and oral antibiotics and immobilisation were then continued at home for six weeks. Staphylococcus aureus was the only pathogen cultured. In all, 91% were cured by a single course of treatment. Of the 48 metaphysial and epiphysial lesions, 77% were treated without operation; and of these, 87% were cured by a single course of treatment, this figure reaching 94% in children under 11 years old.
- © 1985 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery