• Cellulitis

    Cellulitis is an infection usually caused by bacteria. It presents as a painful, red, swollen area that is warm to the touch and it may lead to red streaks up the leg.  In the foot it can easily be mistaken as a fracture, injury, bursitis, dermatitis or even gout. The problem in diagnosing the condition may be the lack of clinical evidence for the portal that introduces the bacteria into the body.  If there are no lacerations, foreign bodies or openings that would have allowed the bacteria entry then the question is, “how did the infection start?”.  When an individual’s immune system is compromised or if they are concurrently fighting an infection in another area of their body, the bacteria can migrate to the area of least resistance.  A post operative cellulites is rarely from a bacteria that is introduced directly into the surgical site during the procedure, but rather from an infection that was laying dormant in the body; then when surgery is performed the infection moves to that specific site.  Blood work prior to surgery usually will show an elevation in the white blood cells if there is an active infection occurring within the body.  The treatment for cellulites is antibiotics, but choosing the correct antibiotic is not always simple.  Often a culture and sensitivity is required to determine the exact bacteria causing the infection and which antibiotics it is susceptible to.  So, if you have a red, swollen area on your foot, you should seek immediate medical attention.