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Hematogenous osteomyelitis in children: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and microbiology

Paul Krogstad, MD
Section Editors
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
William Phillips, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD


Osteomyelitis is an infection localized to bone. It is usually caused by microorganisms (predominantly bacteria) that enter the bone hematogenously. Other pathogenic mechanisms include direct inoculation (usually traumatic, but also surgical), or local invasion from a contiguous infection (eg, cellulitis, sinusitis, periodontal disease). Other risk factors for nonhematogenous osteomyelitis include open fractures that require surgical reduction, implanted orthopedic hardware (such as pins or screws), and puncture wounds.

The epidemiology, pathogenesis, and microbiology of hematogenous osteomyelitis in children will be discussed here. The clinical features, evaluation, diagnosis, and management of osteomyelitis in children are discussed separately:

(See "Hematogenous osteomyelitis in children: Clinical features and complications".)

(See "Hematogenous osteomyelitis in children: Evaluation and diagnosis".)

(See "Hematogenous osteomyelitis in children: Management".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 29, 2016.
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