Chronic Osteomyelitis - Bacterial Flora, Antibiotic Sensitivity and Treatment Challenges

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 30 Mar 2018 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001812010153



Chronic osteomyelitis is a catastrophic sequel of delayed diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis.


The objectives of the study were to determine bacterial flora and antibiotic sensitivity, and to evaluate the outcome of an aggressive surgical approach to chronic osteomyelitis.


This is a single surgeon, prospective cohort study on 30 consecutive patients with clinically and radiologically diagnosed chronic osteomyelitis presented to a hospital. We prospectively recorded demographic, clinical, radiological features, treatment protocol, microbiologic results of culture and sensitivity. The main treatment outcome measures were clinical signs of eradication of infection.


Microbiologic results showed that Gram-negative and mixed flora accounts for more than half of chronic osteomyelitis cases while Staphylococcus aureus was a dominating single pathogen (39%). We detected a high resistance rate to common antibiotics, e.g. 83% of S. aureus isolates were resistant to oxacillin (MRSA). The mean duration of bone infection was 4.2 years (3 months to 30 years) and the mean number of operations was 1.5 (1-5) . The mean follow-up was 15 months (12-18 months). Infection was eradicated in 95% (21 out of 22) treated by a single procedure and in all patients (n=8) by double procedure.


Presented the high rate of MRSA strains is alarming and calls for updating of the antibiotic therapy guidelines in the country. Good results in treatment of chronic osteomyelitis can be achieved by a single-stage protocol including radical debridement combined with systemic and topical antibiotic.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, Debridement, Septic non-union, Topical antibiotics, Chronic osteomyelitis, One-stage treatment.
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