Rev Esp Quimioter 2018; 31(3):217-225

Bacterial osteomyelitis: microbiological, clinical, therapeutic, and evolutive characteristics of 344 episodes


Introduction. Osteomyelitis is a difficult-to-cure infection, with high relapse rate despite adequate therapy. Large published osteomyelitis series in adults are rare.
Material and methods. A total of 344 adult osteomyelitis patients were studied and followed > 12 months after hospital discharge. Demographic, microbiological, clinical, therapeutic and outcome data were analyzed.
Results. Mean age was 52.5 ± 18.3 years and 233 (67.7%) were male. Main osteomyelitis types were post-surgical (31.1%), post-traumatic (26.2%) and hematogenous (23%). Tibia (24.1%) and femur (21.8%), and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (29.6%) were the most commonly involved bone and bacteria, respectively. Median follow-up was 12.0 (IQR 0-48) months. Inflammatory markers were increased in 73.6%. Overall, patients were treated by IV and oral routes with one (IV: 44.5%, oral: 26.7%), two (IV: 30.1%, oral: 21.8%) or ≥ 2 (IV: 15.2%, oral: 6.1%) antibiotics. Median duration on IV/oral antimicrobials was 28.0 (IQR 24-28) and 19.5 (IQR 4-56) days, respectively. Anti-staphylococcal β-lactams cloxacillin/cefazolin (19.2%) and ciprofloxacin (5.5%) were the most frequently used IV and orally, respectively. Overall 234 (68.0%) underwent surgery, 113 (32.8%) debridement, 97 (27.4%) debridement + muscle flap and 24 (7%) amputation. At the end of follow-up 208 patients (60.6%) did not have relapsed. Operated patients had significantly less relapses (p<0.0001). A total of 23 (6.7%) died, 11 (3.2%) by infectious complications and 48 (14%) were lost in the follow-up.
Conclusions. Osteomyelitis is due to different causes complicating its therapy. Risk factors or causal microorganism could influence its treatment and outcome. Aggressive surgery along with adequate antimicrobial therapy are mandatory for cure.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2018; 31(3):217-225 [Full-text PDF]