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Chronic osteomyelitis. An unusual variant

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An unusual form of chronic osteomyelitis in children is described. Three children presented with clinical signs of acute infection and radiographs revealed a pre-existing destructive bone lesion. Exploration of the lesions did not release pus, and cultures for pathogens were negative. The lesions healed but the symptoms returned intermittently over many years with the development of sclerosis and disturbance of bone growth. The lesions did not respond to antibiotics or operative treatment. All the patients were fully investigated and although the erythrocyte sedimentation rate was increased the white blood count was seldom abnormal. There were no neurological abnormalities. Two of the three cases required an osteotomy to correct malalignment. A comparison is made between the findings in these three patients with similar cases reported recently and possible causes are discussed.

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