Clinical Features: A 10-year-old female gymnast with leg pain presented to a chiropractic clinic after having been treated over the previous year for a leg fracture. The patient had leg pain associated with prolonged use of her right leg, restlessness at night, and tenderness over the right tibia. The history did not suggest a mechanical cause of the patient's pain. All available radiographs were reviewed by the chiropractor; a diffuse lytic lesion with bone thickening and sclerosis was clearly visible in the area of the patient's chief complaint, representing a Brodie abscess.
Intervention and Outcome: The doctor of chiropractic sent the patient back to the hospital. She was treated first with oral antibiotics, which were not successful. She underwent surgery and recovered well.
Conclusion: Subacute osteomyelitis may have a diagnostic delay; thus, it is possible for a chiropractor to see this condition in the office. A good case history, examination, and radiographs are important for the diagnosis and to make a proper referral.
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