Clinical Features: A 16-year-old adolescent girl entered the clinic with a complaint of left knee pain that had an insidious onset during her involvement in sports activities. Later that same day, her knee became enlarged, red, and had pustular formations with a discharge. She was taken to an urgent care facility and subsequently diagnosed with MRSA. Her history included treatment of a left knee musculoskeletal condition 6 weeks prior to which she had responded favorably.
Interventions and Outcomes: She was treated medically with an aggressive course of antibiotic therapy and excision of the furuncle. The chiropractic physician played a role in patient education and notifying local school authorities of the case.
Conclusion: Doctors of chiropractic must prepare themselves for the unexpected and remain open to diagnostic possibilities outside of the normal scope of practice. Knee pain or cellulitis of any type may require additional diagnostic and patient care protocols to make the correct diagnosis. With the incidence of community-acquired MRSA increasing at an alarming rate, it is certainly a diagnosis doctors of chiropractic should be aware of when treating patients, especially those involved in sports activities.
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