Bone & joints


Chronic osteomyelitis

Topic Completed: 1 June 2012

Minor changes: 5 May 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Chronic osteomyelitis

Dariusz Borys, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 5,647
Page views in 2021 to date: 10,085
Cite this page: Borys D Chronic osteomyelitis. website. Accessed October 23rd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Recurrent variant of osteomyelitis in children and young adults of unknown origin (Hum Pathol 1999;30:59)
  • Low grade fever, local swelling and pain
  • Periods of exacerbation and remission over years
  • Negative cultures
  • Metaphyses of tubular bones, clavicle
  • Multiple asymptomatic sites
  • Associated skin lesion - pustulosis palmoplantaris
Radiology images

Contributed by Dr. Mark R. Wick
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Chronic type, wrist xray

  • Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; do not use antibiotics since cultures are negative
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Early neutrophilic inflammation
  • Late fibrosis of marrow with chronic inflammatory infiltrate
  • Plasma cell predominance
  • Fragments of necrotic bone with multinucleated giant cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Dr. Mark R. Wick
Missing Image

Chronic type

Differential diagnosis
  • Rheumatic disease
  • Bacterial osteomyelitis
  • Malignancy
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