Clinical manifestations, diagnostic studies, and management of pyogenic sacroiliitis were reviewed in 77 pediatric patients. This infection occurs primarily in late childhood, is more common in boys, and has a subacute onset in about two thirds of cases. Recognition of the characteristic signs and symptoms of sacroiliac involvement coupled with radioisotope bone scanning substantially reduces the delay in correct diagnosis that averaged 3.9 weeks in all patients (4.8 weeks in those without and 1.7 weeks in those with bone scans performed). Joint aspiration under biplane fluoroscopic control and culture of the aspirated material is indicated in establishing the specific etiologic agent which is Staphylococcus aureus in most cases. Adequate management of pyogenic sacroiliitis consists of appropriately monitored antibiotic treatment and, if present, evacuation of pus. The use of spica cast immobilization offers no apparent beneficial effect. Indications for surgery include drainage of pus and removal of sequestered bone. With adequate management the prognosis of suppurative sacroiliitis in pediatric patients is excellent, despite persistent abnormal radiographic findings in most patients.
- Received November 1, 1979.
- Accepted December 21, 1979.
- Copyright © 1980 by the American Academy of Pediatrics