My ex-husband has been diagnosed with MSSA and MRSA in his leg and it has infected the bone in his femur, knee, and surrounding tissue. He has already had 3 surgeries in the last 10 weeks to clean up the leg and is currently in the hospital after the third surgery. This time they removed dead bone and cleaned up the surrounding tissue. This will be the second attempt to clear up the infection by means of IV antibiotics. First the doctors used Vacomycin (sp) for 6 weeks and this time they are going to use Televansin (sp) with another antibiotic that I do not have the name of for 8 weeks. (Note: My ex has Hepatitis C with very advanced liver cirrhosis.)
The doctors have stated that they will try to save the leg by treatment with antibiotics at this point rather than amputate because of the location of the infected bone - this is what we wanted to hear. However, they went on to state that if they amputated the leg that the infection could proceed to the site of amputation and on up to the surrounding bone/tissue.
Does anyone out there know if the doctors are on the right track?
Can MRSA be cured if in the bone? Can MRSA be put in a dormant state?
I welcome any advice that is out there.
Last edited by Really Unsure; 08-19-2010 at 12:22 AM.
Reason: Added information
Hi there, I'm sorry your ex has been going through so much trouble.
First of all, I just wanted to point out that you seem to have a little bit of a misconception about MRSA. MRSA is simply a more drug resistant version of a bacterium that normally lives on everyone's skin. The media has really pumped up this bug and called it a "superbug" which really misleads the public. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it's not as bad as people put it out to be.
The issue with your husband is that he has an infection which, by its nature, is difficult to cure with medication alone. Osteomyelitis can be caused by Staphylococcus aureus, but it can be caused by other things as well. If the infection is found early, you have a chance of treating it with antibiotics alone because there is not lots of dead bone around. When the infection has been festering for a whlie, you can't really treat it without surgery because antibiotics can't penetrate the dead bone which is still infected.
Surgery and antibiotics together are the best way to cure osteomyelitis...surgery to cut away all the infected bone, and antibiotics to sop up what's left behind. Unfortunately you can't always cut out the bone because it's in a delicate location.
Depending on where the infection in the leg is, if they amputate and the stump is relatively far away from where the infection was, there will be no recurrence of the infection. In other words, it's very localized. But if the infection is close to or involving the knee joint on both sides, THAT is where you could run in to problems.
There's no such thing as Staphylococcus aureus in a "dormant state", but sometimes what we do is that, if osteomyelitis can't be treated with surgery, we put the patients on "suppressive antibiotics". That is, a low dose of antibiotics which the person takes for the rest of his/her life that doesn't cure the infection, but keeps it under control.
Thank you so much for your response to my post about my ex-husband's MRSA infection in the bone. The doctors have decided to keep him on the Vacomycin for 8 weeks instead of using an alternative antibiotic.
There is new information to post concerning his health condition.
He developed varices and has had the banding procedure twice in the past year. He again had bleeding varices last Wednesday and after the banding procedure he again started vomiting blood in recovery. This time the doctors used the TIPS procedure to control the bleeding and also as an emergency procedure in order to save his life.
After being in very critical condition and will little hope for survival, he is making a miraculous recovery at this point.
My questions now:
What about the quality of life after TIPS procedure?
What is the life expectancy of someone after TIPS procedure?
Any information that you can share would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for your response to my original post and God Bless.
Unfortuantely, the occurrence of variceal bleeding necessitating TIPS is not a good sign. TIPS is a temporary, NON-curative procedure which works to reduce pressure on esophageal varices by purposely making an abnormal connection between the portal vein and systemic circulation. Bottom line? It allows blood to bypass the liver and go straight back to the heart.
On one hand this is good because it decreases back pressure now that the blood isn't trying to push through a cirrhotic liver; HOWEVER, because the liver step is being bypassed, there isn't the normal cleansing of the blood by the liver and the patient is then susceptible to becoming confused (encephalopathic in medical terms) more easily.
The only way to completely "fix" this problem is a liver transplant. Is he on the list for transplant?
My ex is not on a liver transplant list. I do not know which of his doctors - though probably GI - told us that he would not be a candidate for a transplant because of his multiple other health conditions.
Of course, we can proceed with getting a second opinion; however, my ex does not have supplemental medical insurance, only Medicare. I do not know, but think, that this in itself poses a problem with getting a transplant. (This needs to be investigated further.)
If you have any other information regarding his situation, please advise.
I appreciate your continued support by answering my questions.