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Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis

What is Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO)?

Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO) is an inflammatory bone disorder. Symptoms will usually begin during childhood, and for most people it will resolve after many years without lasting effects. However, it can cause permanent bone deformities and slowed growth.

CRMO can occur alone, but may also accompany psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, Majeed syndrome, or DIRA.

Some research suggests CRMO affects girls slightly more than boys. It most often appears at around 10 years old but can occur before or after that.

What are the symptoms of CRMO?

  • Recurring episodes of pain and joint swelling that may last for a few weeks to a few months
  • Periodic fevers
  • Bone lesions throughout the body
  • Limping
  • Tenderness over affected areas

Some patients will be affected throughout the body, while others it may be restricted to just a few locations. Common affected sites are long bones, the collar bone, the shoulder girdle, ankles, feet, and the spine.

What causes CRMO?

More research is needed to definitively pinpoint the cause of CRMO, but in some cases it has been linked to gene mutations.

The inflammation characterizing this condition is caused by the immune system wrongly attacking normal bones.

How is CRMO diagnosed?

CRMO has to be diagnosed by eliminating other possible diagnoses, meaning other diseases have to be excluded before arriving at a CRMO diagnosis. This can be done using the following procedures:

  • Blood tests
  • Bone scans
  • Bone biopsy
  • X-rays
  • MRIs

What are the treatments for CRMO?

CRMO treatment focuses on reducing pain and improving mobility. It includes a variety of kinds of drugs that may help, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Biphosphonates
  • Biologics

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy will also be helpful.

Where can I find out more about CRMO?

Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis Articles