November 1924


Author Affiliations

Fellow in Surgery, the Mayo Foundation ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Section on Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

Arch Surg. 1924;9(3):504-515. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1924.01120090021002

Brodie's abscess is a chronic infection in the cancellous tissue at the extremities of the long bones, manifesting itself as a well localized pyogenic abscess, usually without external fistula or sequestrum. Although it is a distinct pathologic entity with characteristic symptoms and roentgen-ray findings, and a fairly well established etiology, the condition is often not diagnosed. Expansion of the term to include other conditions, such as medullary abscess, sclerosing osteitis, and even tuberculous abscess of the long bones, has been largely responsible for the confusion that exists in the literature as to its exact nature.

HISTORY AND LITERATURE  In 1830, Brodie rescued this group of cases from the general classification of "white swelling," and, although unaided by the roentgen ray and modern laboratory methods, he gave a clinical description which has not been equaled. He described nine cases.1 Comparatively little has been written on the subject since then. Thomson's

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