Eleven cases of calcaneal osteomyelitis in children are reported. Seven were hematogenous cases, and the remaining four were related to puncture wounds. The clinical presentation was less dramatic than that seen in typical long bone osteomyelitis. Laboratory findings were also less striking. A mixture of organisms was isolated from patients in the hematogenous group. In contrast, all puncture-related cases had cultures positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Plain radiographic findings were noted at the time of presentation in 63%. Those findings were characteristically different in hematogenous and puncture-related cases. Oblique lateral radiographs can be important for diagnosis in puncture-related cases. Radionuclide bone scanning was an important diagnostic test in the absence of plain radiographic changes and in the very young patient. Surgery was performed in 82% of the cases. There were no recurrences or chronic infections. Two complications occurred in one patient, including residual scar sensitivity and early fusion of the calcaneal apophysis.





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