emphysematous osteomyelitis

Emphysematous osteomyelitis is an extremely rare form of osteomyelitis which is complicated by infection with gas-forming organisms. Only a handful of cases are published in the literature.


Commonly reported organisms include

  • Fusobacterium necrophorum  
  • Escherichia coli
  • Bacteroides spp
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae

The vertebrae may be involved in ~ 40% of cases

Radiographic features


It has characterized by presence of intra-osseous gas accompanied by other signs of bony and soft tissue infection.


It was initially described by P C Ram and colleagues in 1981 .

See also

  • intra-osseous gas
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