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Infectious olecranon and patellar bursitis: short-course adjuvant antibiotic therapy is not a risk factor for recurrence in adult hospitalized patients.

OBJECTIVES: No evidence-based recommendations exist for the management of infectious bursitis. We examined epidemiology and risk factors for recurrence of septic bursitis. Specifically, we compared outcome in patients receiving bursectomy plus short-course adjuvant antibiotic therapy (<or=7 days) with that of patients receiving bursectomy plus longer-course antibiotic therapy (>7 days).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective study of adult patients with infectious olecranon and patellar bursitis requiring hospitalization at Geneva University Hospital from January 1996 to March 2009.

RESULTS: We identified 343 episodes of infectious bursitis (237 olecranon and 106 patellar). Staphylococcus aureus predominated among the 256 cases with an identifiable pathogen (85%). Three hundred and twelve cases (91%) were treated surgically; 142 (41%) with one-stage bursectomy and closure and 146 with two-stage bursectomy. All received antibiotics for a median duration of 13 days with a median intravenous component of 3 days. Cure was achieved in 293 (85%) episodes. Total duration of antibiotic therapy [odds ratio (OR) 0.9; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.8-1.1] showed no association with cure. In multivariate analysis, only immunosuppression was linked to recurrence (OR 5.6; 95% CI 1.9-18.4). Compared with <or=7 days, 8-14 days of antibiotic treatment (OR 0.6; 95% CI 0.1-2.9) or >14 days of antibiotic treatment (OR 0.9; 95% CI 0.1-10.7) was equivalent, as was the intravenous component (OR 1.1; 95% CI 1.0-1.3).

CONCLUSIONS: In severe infectious bursitis requiring hospitalization, adjuvant antibiotic therapy might be limited to 7 days in non-immunosuppressed patients.

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