osteomyelitis in infants and children were seen at our hospital during the past 15 years. There were twice as many boys as girls. Staphylococcus aureus was the major etiologic agent, being identified in 61% of the cases. Gram-negative bacteria were responsible for only 14 cases (9%). The femur, the tibia, or the humerus were affected in 103 of the 152 patients with single bone involvement. Ostoemyelitis of more than one bone was seen in 11 cases (7%). Associated joint infectin was confirmed in 29 patients.
There were no deaths. Surgical drainage was carried out in 81 cases (50%). Ten patients had recurrent or persistent drainage and one developed a Brodie abscess. Of the patients with S aureus osteomyelitis, chronic disease occurred in 19% of those receiving parenterally administered antibiotics for three weeks or less, but in only one patient (2%) of those who received parenteral antibiotics longer than three weeks If there is an open wound or abscess, it may be drained through a procedure called needle aspiration. In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the infected area and the fluid is withdrawn. For culturing to identify the bacteria, deep aspiration is preferred over often-unreliable surface swabs. Most pockets of infected fluid collections (pus pocket or abscess) are drained by open surgical procedures.