Brodie abscess of the tibia

Case contributed by Dr George Harisis


Several months of persistent right knee pain, intermittent night sweats and elevated WCC. History of osteomyelitis.

Patient Data

Age: 13 years
Gender: Male

CT right knee

Unenhanced CT of the right knee demonstrates a lucent ovoid lesion centered at the proximal tibial metaphysis and extending into the epiphyseal plate. There is a narrow zone of transition with somewhat sclerotic borders and a central calcific focus. A draining tract extends anteriorly through the physis to the tibial tuberosity. 


The findings are consistent with a Brodie abscess.

Case Discussion

This is a classic example of a Brodie abscess of chronic osteomyelitis which most commonly affects the tibial metaphysis1. The medullary lesion can harbor a focus of demineralized bone (sequestrum) which may become surrounded by dense periosteal new bone (involucrum).  A draining tract (cloaca) provides a means of decompressing the abscess cavity2.

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Case information

rID: 58984
Published: 15th Mar 2018
Last edited: 6th Mar 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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