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Case report
Emphysematous osteomyelitis of the clavicle: a pleural process?


Emphysematous osteomyelitis (EO) is a rare infection associated with intraosseous gas. EO is an often fatal disease with an estimated 34% mortality. We present a case of a 63-year-old man with sternoclavicular EO with pleural involvement and significant subcutaneous emphysema diagnosed by CT. Extension of intraosseous gas into the pleural cavity is an extremely interesting presentation that has not been previously reported. The patient underwent a multidisciplinary treatment approach with surgical debridement and an extended antibiotic course. Intraoperative cultures of the pectoralis muscle and bone biopsy grew pan-sensitive Escherichia coli. Prompt recognition and treatment are paramount to avoid a potentially fatal outcome. A review of the literature of the previous 46 cases of EO is presented for associated risk factors, the role of surgical management and antibiotic therapy.

  • bone and joint infections
  • adult intensive care
  • medical management
  • radiology

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