Melioidosis, an infection due to gram negative Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an important cause of sepsis in east Asia especially Thailand and northern Australia. It usually causes abscesses in lung, liver, spleen, skeletal muscle and parotids especially in patients with diabetes, chronic renal failure and thalassemia. Musculoskeletal melioidosis is not common in India even though sporadic cases have been reported mostly involving soft tissues. During a two-year-period, we had five patients with musculoskeletal melioidosis. All patients presented with multifocal osteomyelitis, recurrent osteomyelitis or septic arthritis. One patient died early because of septicemia and multi-organ failure. All patients were diagnosed on the basis of positive pus culture. All patients were treated by surgical debridement followed by a combination of antibiotics; (ceftazidime, amoxy-clavulanic acid, co-trimoxazole and doxycycline) for six months except for one who died due to fulminant septicemia. All other patients recovered completely with no recurrences. With increasing awareness and better diagnostic facilities, probably musculoskeletal melioidosis will be increasingly diagnosed in future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine