The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 83, Issue 8, pp 817–824 | Cite as

Bone and Joint Infections in Children: Acute Hematogenous Osteomyelitis

  • Anil AgarwalEmail author
  • Aditya N. Aggarwal
Review Article


Acute hematogenous osteomyelitis (AHO) is one of the commonest bone infection in childhood. Staphylococcus aureus is the commonest organism causing AHO. With use of advanced diagnostic methods, fastidious Kingella kingae is increasingly becoming an important organism in etiology of osteoarticular infections in children under the age of 3 y. The diagnosis of AHO is primarily clinical. The main clinical symptom and sign in AHO is pain and tenderness over the affected bone especially in the metaphyseal region. However, in a neonate the clinical presentation may be subtle and misleading. Laboratory and radiological investigations supplement the clinical findings. The acute phase reactants such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) are frequently elevated. Ultrasonography and MRI are key imaging modalities for early detection of AHO. Determination of infecting organism in AHO is the key to the correct antibiotic choice, treatment duration and overall management and therefore, organism isolation using blood cultures and site aspiration should be attempted. Several effective antibiotics regimes are available for managing AHO in children. The choice of antibiotic and its duration and mode of delivery requires individualization depending upon severity of infection, causative organism, regional sensitivity patterns, time elapsed between onset of symptoms and child’s presentation and the clinical and laboratory response to the treatment. If pus has been evidenced in the soft tissues or bone region, surgical decompression of abscess is mandatory.


Acute hematogenous osteomyelitis Septic arthritis Bone and joint infections Osteoarticular infections Osteomyelitis 


Conflict of Interest


Source of Funding



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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric OrthopedicsChacha Nehru Bal ChikitsalayaDelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of OrthopedicsUCMS and GTB HospitalDelhiIndia

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