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Keywords:

  • Head and neck surgery;
  • osteomyelitis;
  • sternoclavicular joint;
  • Level of Evidence: 4.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To review all reported cases of sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) osteomyelitis following head and neck surgery.

Study Design:

Retrospective case review.

Methods:

PubMed search and one additional case from our institution.

Results:

Twelve cases were reviewed, and the following recommendations are suggested: risk factors for SCJ osteomyelitis should be identified; early and prompt diagnosis of SCJ osteomyelitis is warranted; tracheostoma care and careful examination of the skin should not be neglected; meticulous screening for cancer recurrence is imperative; if SCJ infection is suspected, cancer recurrence must be ruled out with biopsies; and surgical debridement is considered the gold standard of treatment. Administration of newer-generation antibiotics is a reasonable choice when the infection is detected early, as is maintaining a low threshold for surgical treatment if disease persists or progresses.

Conclusions:

Osteomyelitis of the SCJ following head and neck surgery is uncommon and must be distinguished from malignancy with biopsies. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative. Laryngoscope, 2010