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Acute osteomyelitis of the distal fibula is a rare disease in children and is characterized by special features compared with other sites. The objective of this study was to report the functional outcome at long-term follow-up.
We reviewed retrospectively, between January 2000 and December 2010, all cases of acute osteomyelitis of the distal fibula. Epidemiological and bacteriological data as well as therapy and outcome factors were analyzed. At the last follow-up, functional outcome was studied based on ankle motion, growth disturbance, and radiological sequelae.
Seven cases of acute osteomyelitis of the distal fibula were found. The mean age was patients was 7.71 years and the sex ratio was 2.5. The portal of entry of the pathogen was a skin injury in 57% of cases. Staphylococcus aureus was identified in 71% of cases. The mean duration of antibiotic therapy was 33.2 days. At a mean of 12.85 years of follow-up, no growth disturbance was found. The mean plantar and dorsal flexion was 41° and 27.7°, respectively. The mean postoperative American Orthopedics Foot and Ankle score (AOFAS) was 96.71 points.
Acute osteomyelitis of the distal fibula in children is scarce and rarely reported in the literature. It occurs more often in boys at an average age of 7 years. Local symptoms are usually more obvious than general symptoms. Surgical debridement of the subperiosteal abscess without bone trepanation seems to lead to a satisfactory outcome.
Level of evidence
Level IV – case series.
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Keywords : Acute, Osteomyelitis, Fibula, Treatment, Outcome