Differential diagnosis of bacterial osteomyelitis (BOM) and chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO) is challenging. Pediatric CNO can be diagnosed at around 10 years of age and when CNO cases involve only the jaw, it is difficult to make a diagnosis in a young child. A 3-year-old female developed CNO at the jaw alone. She presented with no fever, right jaw pain, mild trismus, and a preauricular facial swelling around the right mandible. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a hyperostotic right mandible, with osteolytic and sclerotic changes associated with periosteal reaction. At first, we suspected BOM and antibiotics were administered. Subsequently, CNO was diagnosed, and the patient received flurbiprofen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs)). Lack of a sufficient response led to successful treatment with a combination of oral alendronate and flurbiprofen. Physicians should be aware of CNO, a rare autoinflammatory noninfectious bone disease of unknown etiology, even in young children, although the disease mostly affects older children and adolescents.
Keywords: alendronate; bacterial osteomyelitis; chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis; flurbiprofen; jaw.