Staph Infection - Bone

Updated on July 08, 2011
L.H. asks from Coleman, TX
6 answers

My niece has a friend whose daughter might have a staph infection of the bone. She had a bike accident and was admitted to Cooks and they're running tests. She called her pediatrician and asked about contagiousness. Her doctor said her son would've had to exchange saliva for her son to catch it. She's nervous to say the least. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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answers from Dallas on

Dear L.,

My heart is pounding and I feel a lump in my throat as I read this post and now respond to it....

On Sept. 8th, 2008, my three year old son, Bryce was admitted to Children's Medical Center with a very high fever, inability to walk anymore and his thinking becoming vary strange. Within eight hours of being there, my son was literally fighting for his life. (You can find my past post where I was pleading for prayers for his life). My son ended up having MRSA staph that got in his blood (also called septic shock, sepsis or blood poisening). He was in multiple organ failure before anyone knew what happened. On Sept. 9th, the doctors took my husband and I into the consult room to tell us our son would die within the next hour so we needed to get his twin and older sister to the hospital ASAP so we could all be together when he died. We were devastated - one day we had a perfectly healthy son, the next he was on life support.

The great news is that God heard the prayers of THOUSANDS of people and mercifully saved our son. The doctors were literally stunned, they had never seen a child survive that degree of staph and septic shock (infact, Children's is doing a story on his amazing recovery). That doesn't mean it was an easy recovery. My son spent 99 days in the hospital (38 in the PICU with a respirator), he ended up losing his right thumb and has had a large amount of skin grafting on his right hand and arm. He was so damaged by the infection that he had to learn to walk again and is still in OT/PT five days a week. His organs are bouncing back slowly but surely and cognitively, he is perfect (that, too, was a miracle!). He still has a long way to go to be the perfect normal child he was before Sept. 8th, but we are so thankful that our prayers were and continue to be answered.

All that being said, staph infections come in different varieties but they can be very deadly! They are not something to take lightly. Staph is everywhere....we have no idea how our son picked it up - the doctors said 3 out of 10 people carry it (mostly in their noses) and it's even higher for health care workers. Hand washing is the absolute most important thing about preventing the spread of staph. If one is prescribed antibiotics, they must be FINISHED because staph becomes easily resistant to the drugs.

I didn't share my story with you to scare you but to let you know that you do need to be concerned and diligent that he receive proper diagnosis ASAP. Blood cultures will tell the doctors the type of staph, it usually takes a day or so to grow them.

I send my best to your nephew and your family...I pray that it's not anything like what we have been through and are still recovering from.

Many Blessings,
Glenda Wilson

sorry, just re-read and realized it was a friend of your family and a girl, hope every thing turns out well



answers from Dallas on

mrsa is not something to take lightly. if her pediatrician is not concerned, but she's unconvinced, try to encourage her to follow her mommy instinct and do what she thinks is best by her child(ren). it absolutely could not hurt anything for her to 'baby her son's immune system' by not allowing sugar or white flour-type foods and to give him sodium ascorbate (a more bio-available, buffered form of vitamin c that is suitable for therapeutic dosing).
if nothing else, at least she will have something to "do" since she feels nervous.




answers from Dallas on

My cousin's husband got MRSA/staph from a YMCA in Boston where he exercised every day (they think) and then my cousin and her son both got it. They were all hospitalized multiple times because they couldn't seem to get it out of the house. But through all this, their youngest son never got it. They didn't know how it kept spreading around the three of them, but never affected the youngest child. I just wanted to share that even if someone is exposed, it doesn't mean they'll get it. It's probably worth talking to some specialists to get a second or third opinion on this just for peace of mind.



answers from Abilene on

Wow. After reading all the other mom's storys I am sure you are taking all this to heart. I just wanted to let you know that my son and I got MSRA/staph from the hospital were I gave birth. It was so bad. Before we knew what is was the hole family had it. Our doctor says that it is more common than the common cold. It was so hard for us to get over it. Now we us Dial soap everyday and lysol all that we can. There are other things that I use to clean with. Such as Melaleuca. (It smells better than lysol.) My doctor told us that you could get it ON SKIN just from touch. So, I think your sister may want to talk to another doctor just to be safe. Good Luck.



answers from Wichita Falls on

You can let your friend know that just about everyone already has staph - the issue is in the bone; and for that to happen her son would have to have an open fracture or lesion in the skin that went down to the bone level (or impacted tooth that went on to the point of osteomyelitis).

Her son is more likely to catch staph from using a friend's pencil and then picking his nose than he is to have picked up anything from his friends' broken bone.


I feel compelled to clarify my response - the original post says nothing about MRSA. Yes, MRSA and VRSA are both bigger deals than just plain old staph, although still - there are a LOT of carriers. The kid with the problem, though, is the one who might have osteomyelitis - the infection of the bone. Any infection of the bone is resistant, deadly, and a pain in the butt. It is (99% of the time) related to a BREAK in the bone (usually through the skin, which is already colonized with bacteria that everyone carries - including staph) that leads to that bacteria colonizing the marrow. A kid being around another child with osteomyelitis is not going to catch it (osteomyelitis). Our bones, like our brains, are generally very well protected in a closed system. Only when there is a break in the system (or a very rare pathogen that can cross the barrier) is there a serious risk.



answers from Birmingham on

I was just told today that I have a staph infection in my tibia. I had an accident in 2005. It was a compound and complete break. (thru the skin) This fracture has also been diagnosed as a non-union. To bad my doc was out of town. I could not question him. ALthough, they told me he would call tomorrow. I have been doing reseach and I have found that this can be very serious. And, I'm not excluding death and amputation. I dont think that it is as contagious as an infection like MRSA. But, the antibiotics are pretty serious. Such as, Mefoxin. Look it up.

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