Are diabetic foot ulcers complicated by MRSA osteomyelitis associated with worse prognosis? Outcomes of a surgical series


Javier Aragón-Sánchez, C/Eduardo 1,4ºD, 35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. E-mail:


Aims  The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of surgical treatment of osteomyelitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with cases caused by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).

Methods  We abstracted data of a series of 185 consecutive patients with diabetes and foot osteomyelitis undergoing surgery within the first 12 h after admission at a single hospital. Bone infection was confirmed by histopathological studies. Only cases where Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from bone specimens were included in this analysis. We analysed several variables between the two groups: MRSA vs. MSSA.

Results  MRSA bone infection was associated with higher body temperature (P = 0.02) and white blood cell count (P = 0.02) than MSSA. Patients with MRSA infections underwent a greater number of surgical procedures (P = 0.03). Limb salvage was achieved in 93.6% of the patients, with no statistically significant difference in limb salvage rates between MRSA and MSSA-related osteomyelitis.

Conclusions  From our experience, where treatment is based on early and aggressive surgical treatment, MRSA bone infections are not associated with worse prognosis.