JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
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Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in acute musculoskeletal infection in children: a game changer.

BACKGROUND: Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is a virulent pathogen responsible for an increasing number of invasive musculoskeletal infections in healthy children. The purpose of this study is to characterize the presentation, clinical course, treatment, complications, and long-term morbidity of CA-MRSA musculoskeletal infection in children.

METHODS: A retrospective study of children with CA-MRSA musculoskeletal infections from 2 institutions was conducted.

RESULTS: The study group included 27 patients. Clinical presentation involved an extremity in 23 of 27 patients. Twelve patients required admission to the intensive care unit. Four of these patients developed acute multisystem failure. Magnetic resonance imaging was obtained in 21 patients and was diagnostic in all. Seven patients developed deep venous thrombosis and septic pulmonary emboli. All patients required surgical intervention, and 16 of 27 required multiple debridements.

CONCLUSIONS: CA-MRSA is limb and life threatening. Prompt recognition and treatment are critical. Aggressive surgical drainage/debridement in addition to long-term antibiotics is required. There is significant potential for long-term morbidity despite aggressive management.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, retrospective case series.

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