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October 1938


Arch Surg. 1938;37(4):531-545. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200040013002

Orthopedic surgeons are familiar with acute osteomyelitis in children. It is a clinical entity so clearcut that the diagnosis in a typical case may be made with reasonable certainty. Nevertheless, in spite of the pioneer work done in an attempt to educate the general practitioner to consider its possibility, acute osteomyelitis is still treated under the mistaken diagnosis of rheumatism or rheumatic fever. It is, I think, the most poorly treated of all conditions requiring surgical treatment, and great damage is caused by delay in instituting surgical drainage.

In the reports of cases of acute osteomyelitis, authors have frequently included cases of adults, and some have called attention to the fact that in these cases there was a "difference" in the onset and in the subsequent course. No one has had a large experience with such cases, and inquiry discloses the fact that physicians who have treated many patients with

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