The history of antibiotic treatment of osteomyelitis

Nicolás W. Cortés-Penfield, Prathit A. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Antibiotic treatment of osteomyelitis has evolved substantially over the past 80 years. Traditional teachings (eg, that antimicrobials must be given parenterally, selected based upon ratios of achieved bone vs serum drug levels, and continued for 4–6 weeks) are supported by limited data. New studies are challenging this dogma, however. In this review, we seek to contextualize the discussion by providing a narrative, chronologic review of osteomyelitis treatment spanning the pre-antibiotic era through the present day and by describing the quality of evidence supporting each component of traditional osteomyelitis therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Bone and joint infection
  • Bone infection
  • History
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology


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