Differential diagnosis of pediatric musculoskeletal infection

Approach to the differential diagnosis of musculoskeletal infection:

  • Myositis is an infectious inflammation of the muscles
  • Dermatomyositis is a non-infectious inflammation of the muscles
  • Osteomyelitis has a different imaging appearance at different ages and with different organisms and in different locations
  • Osteomyelitis if not properly treated can develop the complications of Brodie abscess, sequestrum, involucrum, and sinus tract
  • Congenital osteomyelitis due to syphilis and rubella can occur
  • Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) is non-infectious osteomyelitis and should be suspected when no organism can be isolated and the patient does not respond to antibiotic therapy