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Bone involvement is the commonest clinical manifestation of sickle cell disease both in the acute setting such as painful vaso-occlusive crises, and as a source of chronic, progressive disability such as avascular necrosis. Management of these problems is often difficult because of the diagnostic imprecision of most laboratory and imaging investigations and because of the lack of evidence for most surgical procedures in sickle cell disease. This review first discusses the acute problems related to bone involvement in sickle cell disease, with particular reference to differentiating infection from infarction, and then describes the long-term effects of sickle cell disease on bone mineral density, growth, and chronic bone and joint damage.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





482 - 490


Acute Disease, Anemia, Sickle Cell, Arthritis, Infectious, Bone Development, Bone Diseases, Bone Diseases, Metabolic, Bone Marrow Diseases, Bone and Bones, Child, Child, Preschool, Chronic Disease, Humans, Infant, Osteomyelitis, Osteonecrosis, Osteoporosis