Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 11 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2016 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

The outcome of treatment of chronic osteomyelitis according to an integrated approach

Leonard C. Marais, Colleen Aldous, Theo L. B. Le Roux

Keywords : Osteomyelitis, Chronic, Classification, Outcome, Management

Citation Information : Marais LC, Aldous C, Le Roux TL. The outcome of treatment of chronic osteomyelitis according to an integrated approach. 2016; 11 (2):135-142.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-016-0259-1

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).


Previous classification systems of chronic osteomyelitis have failed to provide objective and pragmatic guidelines for selection of the appropriate treatment strategy. In this study, we assessed the short-term treatment outcome in adult patients with long-bone chronic osteomyelitis prospectively where a modified host classification system was integrated with treatment strategy selection through a novel management algorithm. Twenty-six of the 28 enrolled patients were available for follow-up at a minimum of 12 months. The median patient age of was 36.5 years (range 18–72 years). Fourteen patients (54 %) were managed palliatively, and 11 patients (42 %) were managed through the implementation of a curative treatment strategy. One patient required alternative treatment in the form of an amputation. The overall success rate was 96.2 % (95 % CI 80.4–99.9 %) at a minimum of 12-months follow-up. Remission was achieved in all [11/11] patients treated curatively (one-sided 95 % CI 73.5–100.0 %). Palliative treatment was successful in 92.9 % [13/14] of cases (95 % CI 66.1–99.9 %). In patients with lower limb involvement, there was a statistically significant improvement of 28.3 (95 % CI 21.0–35.7; SD 17.0) in the AAOS Lower Limb Outcomes Instrument score (p value < 0.001). The integrated approach proposed in this study appears a useful guideline to the management of chronic osteomyelitis of long bones in adult patients in the developing world. Further investigation is required to validate the approach, and additional development of the algorithm may be required in order to render it useful in other clinical environments.

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