Squamous-cell carcinoma complicating chronic osteomyelitis

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Treatment of carcinomatous degeneration in patients with chronic osteomyelitis requires differentiation between benign, penetrating epithelioma and invading, low-grade squamous-cell carcinoma. Although most lesions are low grade, analysis of the case histories of twenty-three patients treated at the Mayo Clinic indicates that these tumors do metastasize. When malignant-appearing epithelium invading bone is identified, ablative surgery is indicated. Inadequate surgical treatment resulted in the deaths of two patients in our series. Routine regional lymphadenectomy at the time of amputation seems unnecessary. Regional lymphadenopathy persisting for six to twelve weeks after amputation warrants surgical intervention. With prompt, aggressive surgical treatment, the prognosis for patients with squamous-cell carcinoma in an osteomyelitic cavity is good.

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