Brodie abscess

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brodie abscess
Classification and external resources
Specialty rheumatology
ICD-10 M86.8
ICD-9-CM 730.1
eMedicine article/1248682

A Brodie abscess is a subacute osteomyelitis, which may persist for years before converting to a frank osteomyelitis. Classically, this may present after conversion as a draining abscess extending from the tibia out through the shin. Occasionally acute osteomyelitis may be contained to a localized area and walled off by fibrous and granulation tissue. This is termed Brodie's abscess.

Most frequent causative organism is Staphylococcus aureus.

Clinical presentation[edit]

Localized pain, often nocturnal, alleviated by aspirin. Often mimics the symptoms of Osteoid osteoma, which is typically less than 1 cm in diameter.

Most frequent sites[edit]

Usually occurs at the metaphysis of long bones. Distal tibia, proximal tibia, distal femur, proximal or distal fibula, and distal radius.


Radiographic features[edit]

Oval, elliptical, or serpentine radiolucency usually greater than 1 cm surrounded by a heavily reactive sclerosis, granulation tissue, and a nidus often less than 1 cm. The margins often appear scalloped on radiograph. Brodie's abscess is best visualized using Computed tomography (CT) scan. Associated atrophy of soft tissue near the site of infection and shortening of the affected bone. Osteoblastoma may be a classic sign for Brodie's abscess.


Mainly surgical approach has to be taken. If cavity is small then surgical evacuation & curettage is performed under antibiotic cover. If cavity is large then after evacuation, packing with cancellous bone chips


Brodie abscess is named after Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet. In the 1830s, he initially described a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the tibia without obvious acute etiology.[1] It was later discovered that this was caused by infection.


  1. ^ McHugh, C. H.; Shapeero, L. G.; Folio, L.; Murphey, M. D. (July 2007). "Case for diagnosis. Brodie abscess". Military Medicine. 172 (7): viii–xi. ISSN 0026-4075. PMID 17691698.