How to Treat Acute Musculoskeletal Infections in Children

  • N. G. Hartwig
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 582)

1. Summary

Timely diagnosis of musculoskeletal infections is essential to prevent severe complications of this disease. Important symptoms that lead to the diagnosis include high fever, malaise, local pain and loss of function of the involved extremity. In the case of arthritis, swelling of the affected joint may develop quickly in the course of disease.

Imaging techniques include ultrasound and MRI. Both are useful in determining the exact site of infection. Infectious parameters, C-reactive protein and/or sedimentation rate of erythrocytes (ESR) are used in following disease activity during treatment.

The gold standard for diagnosing musculoskeletal infection is microbiological isolation of the organism. Bone-biopsy of an involved metaphysis or aspiration of joint-fl uid gives the highest chance of a positive culture. Usually S. aureus is the causative micro-organism, although specifi c underlying diseases may predispose to other bacterial infections.

Antibiotic treatment is aimed at the most likely causative micro-organism. In some instances surgical treatment is necessary, especially in cases of focal and chronic osteomyelitis and when the adjacent joint is involved in the infl ammatory process.

Collaboration between paediatrician and orthopaedic surgeon is essential to achieve the best treatment for the patient.


Septic Arthritis Osteoid Osteoma Chronic Osteomyelitis Adjacent Joint Acute Osteomyelitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. G. Hartwig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsErasmus MC-SophiaRotterdamThe Netherlands

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