Primary subacute haematogenous osteomyelitis (PSHO) of the small bones of the foot is a rare and infrequently considered cause of a limp in children. We describe 11 patients with PSHO, of whom nine were under three years of age, who had a limp with few symptoms. The talus was involved in 36%. Bone scans were positive in all patients and led to localisation of the lesion in two. The radiological features included soft-tissue swelling, an osteolytic lesion in the talus and the calcaneus and a sclerotic appearance of the cuboid and the navicular bones. All patients except one were cured with antibiotics.