Neurosurgical management of vertebral lesions in pediatric chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis: patient series


Advocate Children's Medical Group


Background: Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) is a rare pediatric autoinflammatory disorder involving 2 or more inflammatory bone lesions separated in time and space associated with pathological vertebral fractures. There are no current guidelines for the role of pediatric spine surgeons in the management of this condition. The authors demonstrate the importance of close and early involvement of neurosurgeons in caring for patients with CRMO with vertebral involvement.

Observations: Fifty-six pediatric patients with clinical and radiographic evidence of CRMO were identified and clinical, radiographic, laboratory, and histopathological data were reviewed. All were evaluated via Jansson and Bristol CRMO diagnostic criteria. Ten had radiographic evidence of vertebral involvement (17.9%). Nine of these had multifocal disease. Five patients had multiple vertebrae affected. Six patients were evaluated for possible surgical intervention and one required intervention due to vertebra plana leading to a progressive kyphotic deformity and significant spinal canal stenosis.

Lessons: In conjunction with management by the primary pediatric rheumatology team using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, immunotherapies, and bisphosphonates, given the risk of pathological fractures and potential resulting long-term neurological deficits, the authors recommend close monitoring and management by pediatric spine surgeons for any patient with CRMO with vertebral lesions.

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