Chronic multifocal osteomyelitis

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1993 Jul;75(4):582-91. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.75B4.8331113.


We describe 22 patients who presented between the ages of 4 and 14 years with gradual onset of malaise and pain at the sites of multiple bone lesions. The symptoms from the bone lesions were sometimes sequential in onset and often relapsing. The radiological findings were typical of osteomyelitis. Radioisotope bone scans identified some clinically silent lesions. Bone biopsies were performed in 20 patients and the changes of osteomyelitis were seen in 17; microbiological culture was positive in only one. Seven patients had polyarthritis, two had palmoplantar pustulosis and one had psoriasis. Some symptomatic relief was obtained with anti-inflammatory agents and, to a less extent, with antibiotics. No patient had primary immunodeficiency. The mean duration of symptoms from the bone lesions was two years (1 to 4). When arthritis was present the joint symptoms lasted considerably longer (mean 7 years; range 4 to 10). The long-term prognosis was generally good. There was no evidence of altered bone growth or abnormal joint development. One patient developed a progressive kyphosis requiring fusion, but no other surgical intervention was necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthrography
  • Biopsy
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / microbiology
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Tests
  • Male
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnosis*
  • Osteomyelitis / microbiology
  • Osteomyelitis / pathology
  • Prognosis