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Summary: Thirty-three cases of acute hematogenous bone or joint infection in children were randomly treated with short-term (7 days for joint infection, 10 days for bone infection) or long-term (14 days and 21 days, respectively) intravenous antibiotics after surgical drainage. The treatment outcome was measured through a detailed scoring system that included the ability to eradicate infection, the functional status of the limb, and the radiographic appearance of the bone and joint. The results were similar in both groups, showing the added benefit of a shorter hospital stay for children with blood-borne musculoskeletal infection. The use of this scoring system in choosing the route of antibiotic administration is recommended.

(C) 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.