Presentation of Osteitis and Osteomyelitis Pubis as Acute Abdominal Pain
Diane V Pham, MD; Kendall G Scott, MD
Spring 2007 - Volume 11 Number 2
Osteitis pubis is the most common inflammatory condition of the pubic symphysis and may present as acute abdominal, pelvic, or groin pain. Osteomyelitis pubis can occur concurrently and spontaneously with osteitis pubis. Primary care physicians should consider these conditions in patients presenting with abdominal and pelvic pain. A thorough history, including type of physical activity, and a focused physical examination will be useful, and imaging modalities may be helpful. A biopsy and culture of the pubic symphysis will usually confirm the diagnosis. Treatment for osteitis pubis generally involves rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Failure with this conservative treatment should alert the physician to the possibility of osteomyelitis, which needs treatment with antibiotics. Prognosis for recovery is excellent with definitive diagnosis and treatment.