Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that has been the cause of many infections. Unfortunately it is difficult to treat a MRSA Infection because the bacteria is resistant to most antibiotics. Resistance occurs due to the natural evolution of the bacteria and its will to survive. MRSA is a living organism and will try to fight against the antibiotics in order to live and grow. No one is safe from this bacteria including Daniel Fells of the New York Giants. He is at risk of losing his foot to this resistant organism.
The Giants tight end received a cortisone injection to his foot/ankle and 1 week later developed increasing pain with a high fever. His wife took him to the emergency room and from there he was admitted to the intensive care unit. The problem is that since Fells is showing signs of systemic infection then we can assume that the bacteria is in his blood as well. Typically with this type of infection the patient would be placed on intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Antibiotics are our main defense against bacteria aside from our own bodily defense mechanisms. Fells since he was in the ICU most likely was being treated for a subsequent blood infection that originated from the foot. This is a pretty serious condition to be in since the likelihood of osteomyelitis (bone infection) is very high.
If Fells’ bone is infected then amputation or partial amputation may be needed. First the doctors may want to consider six weeks of IV antibiotics. MRI will be used to see if the bone is healing from the infection. If it is not then another course of antibiotics may be needed. The decision to take out the infected bone will have to be made very carefully since this surgery could lead to the end of Fells’ career.
At Advanced podiatry we typically see these types of infection in our diabetic population. It is quite rare to see this type of infection in an elite athlete. Ben Taylor linebacker of the Cleveland Browns is also familiar with this type of infection. Back in 2013 he received a scratch to his elbow that result in a blood infection with MRSA. This goes to show that the bacteria can infect anyone, even the healthiest of people. Here at Advanced Podiatry we work closely with our patients who have foot infections. It is crucial to diagnose infections early and treat aggressively. If there is an open wound the area will be cultured to determine what bacteria is causing the infection. Then the patient will be placed on oral antibiotics. If the symptoms are severe the patient will be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics. X-rays of the foot will be taken to check for any boney involvement and an MRI will follow to see the extent of the infection in the soft tissue/bone.
If you or a loved one have any infection of the foot and ankle please do not hesitate to call us. We will be able to get you healthy fast so that you can maintain your active lifestyle.