We reviewed the cases of 60 children with acute osteomyelitis with an average follow-up of 34 months. All patients were treated initially with high-dose intravenous (i.v.) antibiotics. Eight patients did not respond to this treatment within 48 h and had surgical drainage. The remaining 52 patients were divided into two subgroups: (a) 35 patients received i.v. antibiotics for an average of 21 days; (b) 17 patients received i.v. antibiotics for an average of 8 days followed by 4 weeks of oral therapy with monitoring of serum bactericidal levels. The incidence of chronic infection (12% for the operatively treated group and 4% for the nonoperatively treated group) depended more on the time interval between the presentation of symptoms and the onset of treatment than it did on the route of antibiotic administration.





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