International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences

: 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 184--186

A case report on chronic osteomyelitis of the right tibia in a pediatric male patient and its management

C Keerthana1, TH Indu1, Jaya Ganeshamoorthy2, Ponnusankar Sivasankaran1,  
1 Department of Pharmacy Practice, JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Government District Headquarters Hospital, Ooty, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Ponnusankar Sivasankaran
Department of Pharmacy Practice, JSS College of Pharmacy, Rocklands, Post Box No. 20, Ooty - 643 001, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu


The present case explains the treatment strategies followed for a chronic osteomyelitis case of a pediatric patient in a secondary care public hospital, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India. He was presented with the complaints of pain and swelling on the right leg, which was treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac and ibuprofen. Similarly, the tissue abscess observed was managed with parenteral antibiotics such as cefotaxime and amikacin. Surgery was done to remove the devascularized tissue and postoperative care was given with chymoral forte and vitamin supplements (Vitamin B complex, calcium and Vitamin C). In this patient, the reason for the occurrence of chronic osteomyelitis may be a complication of the previous surgery due to the accidental fall. Therefore, proper care should be given in the management of traumatic injuries in children and early diagnosis of osteomyelitis is essential to prevent the complications.

How to cite this article:
Keerthana C, Indu T H, Ganeshamoorthy J, Sivasankaran P. A case report on chronic osteomyelitis of the right tibia in a pediatric male patient and its management.Int J Health Allied Sci 2017;6:184-186

How to cite this URL:
Keerthana C, Indu T H, Ganeshamoorthy J, Sivasankaran P. A case report on chronic osteomyelitis of the right tibia in a pediatric male patient and its management. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Sep 22 ];6:184-186
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Osteomyelitis is a bacterial infection (commonly caused by Staphylococci and Streptococci) with the progressive inflammatory destruction of bone and bone marrow.[1],[2] Infection in the bone leads to exudate formation and expands laterally resulting in soft tissue abscess. This causes impairment of blood flow, producing a dead piece of bone, which later separates from the healthy bone.[3] The tenderness, pain, swelling, fever, and decreased motion are associated with osteomyelitis and may lead to complications such as squamous cell carcinoma and septicemia in the later stages.[3],[4] The global incidence rate of osteomyelitis is 13/100,000.[5],[6] The present case describes the treatment strategies followed in a secondary care public hospital, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India.

 Case Report

A 12-year-old male child was presented to the pediatric unit of the secondary care public hospital, Ooty on March 7, 2016, with the complaints of pain and swelling on the right leg with pus discharge for the past 4 months [Figure 1]. He had undergone a surgery in the right leg 5 months back in a private hospital due to an accidental fall. Consent was obtained in written form from the patient's caretaker and the data were collected. The boy was found to be underweight (body mass index - 16) and the vitals were as follows: pulse rate - 86 b/min; respiratory rate – 20 b/min; and temperature - 98.4°F. He had osteomyelitic lesions on the right tibia [Figure 1]. The laboratory investigation details are given in [Table 1].{Figure 1}{Table 1}

The patient was given with Vitamin B complex tablet - 30.5 mg od, calcium tablet - 300 mg od, cefotaxime injection - 1 g bd, amikacin injection - 300 mg od, ibuprofen tablet - 200 mg tds, and ranitidine tablet - 150 mg bd. On day 3, right leg pain was sustained. Computed tomography scan report showed permeative osteolytic lesion on the proximal right tibia. The magnetic resonance imaging report came on the 5th day which showed chronic osteomyelitis involving upper tibia with sequestrum and pathological fractures on sinus tracts and then he was recommended for surgery. The same drugs were continued. Wound swab and debridement were done and Vitamin C tablet was added to the prescription. Intravenous (IV) fluid 500 ml ringer lactate was infused over 24 h during the nil per oral period. Tetanus toxoid injection (0–5cc IV stat) was given to prevent infection. Xylocaine injection 20 mg and ceftriaxone injection 1 g IV were administered half an hour before the surgery. The surgery was done to remove the sequestrum on the 8th day. Diclofenac injection IV (sos) and chymoral forte (trypsin + chymotrypsin) tablet tds was added to the prescription and amikacin injection was stopped. On the 1st postoperative day, 350 ml of blood was transfused as the patient was anemic. Limb elevation and physiotherapy was advised from the next day onward. Ferrous sulfate tablet - 20 mg od, linezolid syrup - 100 mg/5 ml bd, Flora-BC (folic acid, Lactobacillus, Vitamin B3, B5) syrup - 5 ml bd was added to the therapy from the 2nd postoperative day and was continued for the next 2 days. The child felt better and was discharged with calcium tablet 300 mg od for 30 days and linezolid oral suspension 500 mg/5 ml bd for 10 days.


Osteomyelitis is a common disease among children of poor in the rural population, especially in India.[7] It generally occurs secondary to a contagious infection after a trauma or surgery.[8],[9] The present patient reported that he had undergone a surgery previously and any infection developed on that occasion, which left untreated could be the reason for chronic osteomyelitis. The age of the patient (12 years) could be one of the predisposing factors as the incidence of osteomyelitis is found to be higher in younger children of age 10–16 years.[5],[6] Among them, boys are affected about twice than girls.[7]

The National Organization of Rare Disorders and Nottingham University Hospital guidelines for the management of chronic osteomyelitis include antibiotics, surgery, and symptomatic care. Antibiotics should be started only after doing the culture test and clindamycin - 40 mg/kg/day or vancomycin - 15 mg/kg q 12 h are the best choice of drugs [7] and can be given for 6 weeks duration. Along with this, surgical debridement is also necessary to remove the devascularized tissues.[9] The topical administration of 2% fusidic acid cream or synthetic calcium tablets with standard antibiotic mixture of 500 mg powdered vancomycin and 240 mg of gentamycin can be more effective as these can cover both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.[10] The bone culture test can guide in the proper antibiotic selection, which could not be performed due to the limited facilities available in the secondary care public hospital.[11]

The patient was given with parenteral antibiotic amikacin, due to the unavailability of clindamycin which is the first choice of drug for the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis as per the Tamil Nadu State Government treatment guidelines. Linezolid syrup was also given to prevent further bacterial infections. Surgery was done in this patient to eradicate infected or devascularized tissue as the antibiotics cannot penetrate devascularized tissue.[9] The doses prescribed for the parenteral antibiotics were according to the pediatric doses. However, the administration of parenteral antibiotics such as amikacin and cefotaxime for 7 days increases the risk of resistance and nephrotoxicity in the case of chronic osteomyelitis.[4] It is necessary to monitor the renal function tests after 5 days which was not done. Similarly, C-reactive protein level was not checked in this patient which is a diagnostic test for osteomyelitis.[4]

Anemia (decreased hemoglobin levels) and malnourishment (underweight) observed can be the complications of chronic osteomyelitis. Similarly, the elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate also signals the same.[9] Therefore, calcium, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin C and B complex tablets were prescribed to maintain the nutritional status of the patient. The patient was counseled to take iron rich and nutritious foods to prevent these issues.


It is essential to identify and resolve the predisposing factors which can lead to osteomyelitis. In this patient, the reason for the occurrence of chronic osteomyelitis may be the complications of the previous surgery due to the accidental fall (untreated infection followed by the surgery can lead to the formation of devascularized tissue). Therefore, proper care should be given in management of traumatic injuries that affects the bone and it should not be left untreated especially, in children. Early diagnosis of osteomyelitis is essential to prevent the complications.


The authors would like to acknowledged the support provided by the Government Headquarters Hospital, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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