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8 year old boy with osteomyelitis in his ankle/heel
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8 year old boy with osteomyelitis in his ankle/heel

My 8 year old son was admitted to casualty 4 weeks ago unable to walk describing pain in his ankle and knee. Following a blood test and initial observation he was treated for reactive arthritis. 4 days later following a subsequent bloodtest, mri scan and observation he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis with the source of the infection thought to be either an earlier infected cut in his heel (3 months earlier treated with antibiotics prescribed by our gp) or excema he has around his ankle.

He has now been on iv antibiotics for 3+ weeks and 2 1/2 weeks ago had an operation which a. removed 'pus' from an abscess near his ankle and b. made 'small' holes in his heel to provide an exit for infection in the bone.

His blood tests indicate improvement and there is a range of opinion between the surgeons and the paedotricians as to whether the daily iv treatment needs to be continued or can be replace by oral.

Anyone have any experience and or views on; the blood results that would indicate daily iv antibiotics can safely stop, the time for his physical recovery from the operation (he's on crutches and is showing some weight bearing improvement but seems a long way from walking without pain), the likely lead time for him for him to re-start contact sport again, his specific propensity for a recurrance later in life, anything else.

Many thanks  
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Avatar_f_tn
My son was recently diagnosed with osteomyelitis (3/17/09) after diagnosing an ankle sprain.  He would not walk on his foot and was hopping around on his other foot.  He said it even hurt at night.  He also had night sweats for about a week before his foot hurt him (I thought he just needed a light blanket and didn't think to tell the doc this when we first went to our family doctor).  When he started running a 103 fever I went online and saw that the symptoms resembled septic arthritis and took the article to his doc.  He went back to the ER and they did blood work and an MRI; then he had surgery to drain abscess.  He stayed in hospital for 5 days on IV's with no fever.  Now he's at home with an oral antibiotic for 5 wks.  He has to visit the infectious doc every week for several weeks/months??  He swims on a swim team, does track, and karate and I'm not sure when he can get back to these activities.  How's your son doing?  
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to mention that the staph bacteria was MSSA NOT MRSA which is worse because it is resistant.  He can walk on his foot with a walker or by himself depending on his level of pain.  He will see the orthopaedic surgeon in 2 wks. to remove the stitches.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, concerned parents! It was reassuring to read your posts because I felt like I am the only one going through this. My 6-year old son was also diagnosed with osteomyelitis this week. It was a scary one-week ordeal which ended up at the PICU with a doctor who finally took us seriously. After his knee was drained from the infection, blood cultures were done and results came back with the bacteria. He is now doing well in the hospital, taking antibiotics through the vein and slowily reabilitating his left leg with a walker. Very unreal still considering that he was doing gymnastics and running around not that long ago. Please share how your sons are doing today? Any tips on going through the experience and what to expect?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi bluemoon,
I am a mom of an 10 yr old daughter who was diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis. Unfortunately I understand your circumstances.  My daughter's infection was found in her leg bone the tibia. It was attacking her bone marrow and leaving fluid inside. My daughter was unique in her diagnosis.  She complained of ankle pain, no fever, no rash, no swelling.The only way we caught it was through the MRI. She was on 2 mths of oral antibiotics. As I was reading through your story you were asking the difference or what is better oral or through iv.  In our case the antibiotics caused severe stomach pain, even taking probiotic with it.  The oral antibiotics take the good bacteria away from the digestive system unfortunately and we took the probiotic to try to help maintain the good bacteria that we have in our system.  So now not only is her body fighting the infection, but she had severe stomach pain with it. A double whammy!! In the future if we have to have antibiotics again it will be through the iv so it will bypass her stomach.  Her recovery is taking a long time. She is still tired, weak, and nauseaus.  Her last xray and labs are good, thank god.  It's just taking a long time.  It's been 2 mths since her surgery.  Does anybody have advice on how to recover???
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Avatar_n_tn
so what happened. When was it safe to weight bare. We have been told 6 weeks with no weight bareing, but after that is there an xray, or under what conditions was your son allowed to weight bare?
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Avatar_m_tn
I have an 8 yo that was diagnosed with osteomylitis over 4 months ago he was on iv antibiotics for 2 weeks and oral antibiotics for 8 weeks. However its been over 2 months since all treatment stopped and he is still experiencing severe leg pain which is somewhat disturbing as we thought it was all gone. His blood work showed huge improvement in CRP levels however still slightly elevated ESR does anyone know if this is normal?? I think he just wants to feel like a normal kid and be able to run etc without the pain??
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