J Korean Orthop Assoc.  1981 Dec;16(4):905-913. 10.4055/jkoa.1981.16.4.905.

A Clinical Study on Chronic Osteomyelitis of Adult Long Bones


The chronic osteomyeltis of the adult long bones has different problems from the acute osteomyelitis and osteomyelitis of the children. The ischemic scar tissues and infected bones of the chronic csteomyelitis in the adult are resistant to the antibiotic therapy and their healing mechanisms are delayed. The chronic osteomyelitis has no single effective method of treatment since every case reveals different conditions and the treatment should be individualized case by case. 87 cases of chronic osteomyelitis of the adult long bones were studied in the department of orthcpaedic surgery, Fatima Hospital for 7 years during the years between 1973 to 1979. The cases were 65 male and 22 female having ages 35 years in average and the duration of the osteomyelitis was 14 years and 4 months in average ranging from 3 months to 50 years. The cau ative organisms were mostly staphylococcus but Gram (−) bacilli were found in 28% and the adjacent joint problems were found in 38% The cases were analysed in 5 different groups according to x-ray findings as follows; I. Group with sequestrum: 23 cases having sequestra with varying degree of bone sclerosis and destruction. Most cases had draining sinus but the soft tissue involvement was not severe. II. Sclerotic group: 32 cases having significant bone sclerosis with minimal destructicn if any. The soft tissue involvement and scarring were severe but involvement of the bone marrow was not significant. The duration of osteomyelitis was longest having recurrent episodes of the painful swelling in most cases. III. Destructive group: 17 cases with significant bone destruction with varying degree cf sclerosis. The involvement of the bone marrow was significant and soft tissue involvement was not marked The duration of osteomyelitis was short mostly. IV. Group with skin problem: 9 cases having scar problems overlying tibia. V. Group with complication: There were 2 pathologic fractures of the femurs, 3 quamous cell carcinomas on the lower legs and a severe deformity of a leg. Treatment was mostly surgical including 4 amputations. The surgical method was focused on saucerization of the bone and extensive excision of the infected soft tissues and the scar tissues. 23 cases having small or no dead cavity after mobilization and suture of the adjacent healthy soft tissue closed primarily. Otherwise the cavity was packed open for econdary healing in other 23 cases including several cases having big cavity which was unable to close the skin. The cases having big cavity were prepared for continueus irrigation in 14 caes which were able to closed skin. The transposition of muscles to fill the dead cavity was performed in 4 cases that had big cavity and was unable to close skin. The results were healing in 10 weeks in 54% and after 10 weeks in 38% and 8% failed to heal with the first trials. The recurrence of the ostecmyelitis was found in 9 cases among the 42 cases followed for I year and 3 months in average mostly in group II and in cases of primary closure and open packing.


Chronic hematogencus ostecmyelitis; Adult long bone; Grouping; Treatment
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