Osteosynthesis and Trauma Care 2004; 12(2): 74-76
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-822686
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Social Impact Associated with Chronic Osteomyelitis. A Grading System for the Most Frequent Complication

G. Cohen1 , S. Lager1 , D. Cece1 , I. F. Rubel1
  • 1SUNY Downstate-Kings County Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 July 2004 (online)


Introduction: The psychosocial complications from chronic osteomyelitis are frequent and sometimes devastating. Our objective was to define and grade the impact of chronic osteomyelitis on the patient's quality of life.
Patients and Methods: Thirty-six adult patients with active chronic osteomyelitis were interviewed to identify and rank the social trigger factors affecting the patient's quality of life. A grading system from I to III is proposed.
Results: Loss of working ability, medical coverage and spouses were the three major trigger points for a long cascade of adverse events in 33 (94 %) of the patients. The patients were classified as grade I if they were still employed, grade II if they lost also their medical coverage and grade III if they had also lost family support.
Discussion and Conclusion: All efforts should be directed to keep the patient on a grade I. The progression from grade I to grade III was significantly affected by the number of surgical procedures or unsuccessful antibiotic treatments. The greatest challenge in the treatment of osteomyelitis is to prevent the social deterioration that accompanies and is the hallmark of this disease by an early and effective treatment.


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Ivan F. RubelMD 

Department of Orthopaedics · SUNY Downstate-Kings County Medical Center

451 Clarkson Av. Room C 3125

Brooklyn, New York 11203


Phone: +1/7 18-2 45-46 87

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Email: ivanrubel@yahoo.com