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Born with mild spina bifilar, loss of sensation in foot, extensive osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. What can be done?

Hello I am a 50 yr old woman. I was born with mild spina bifilar and apart from having no feeling in my right foot I led a normal childhood. when I was 28 I had 3 toes amputated due to suspected osteomyelitis. I had severe pain and fever in November and have been onClarithromycin 250mg taking 2 twice a day since then. Ihave just had the results of an MRI scan on my foot and ankle it says, extensive osteomyelitis and septic arthritis involving the whole of the rest of the foot. The tibia is spared, there may be disease in the talus, there is no drainable collection What does this mean in plain English, my surgeon at the hospital is pushing for a below the knee amputation . Is ther any alternative treatment or is amputation inevitable. Can I stay on antibiotics indefinitely without compromising the rest of my health, any advise would be much appreciated thank you
Asked On : Sat, 23 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  58
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Orthopaedic Surgeon 's  Response

thank you for your question,

unfortunately in some cases amputation can be the only solution and make the life of the patient much better using limb prosthesis.

I have seen many patients who had amputation and they are quite glad with their quality of life, at the end of the day if the foot is causing you significant troubles and pain, then it is unlikely to get back normal again.

having said that, you can always refuse the amputation and continue with IV antibiotics long term +/- local debridement (washout and cleaning of unhealthy tissue). but you need to check with your doctor if it is possible option and will not cause further spread of infection to the tibia.

Answered: Sat, 14 Sep 2013
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