Treatment of subperiosteal abscesses in children: is drainage of the intramedullary canal required?

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Acute osteomyelitis can be successfully treated with antibiotics alone. Surgery is utilized after failure of antibiotic treatment or if an abscess is present. Limited evidence exists with regard to whether intramedullary drainage is required in addition to the drainage of the subperiosteal abscess. We reviewed our 9-year experience of treating subperiosteal abscesses identifying 68 patients. Thirty patients underwent both intramedullary and abscess drainage, whereas 38 patients underwent drainage of the abscess alone at the initial procedure. Our analysis demonstrated a statistical significance (P=0.012) and odds ratio of 6.46 in favor of an intramedullary drainage to decrease risk for need for repeat surgical treatment.

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