Dr. Jeevan Kenche, Dr. E. Chandrashekar Reddy


Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. It is associated with significant morbidity. The identification of risk factors and complications can help to reduce the morbidity, mortality, financial burden and to  improve the management.

Aim: To study the risk factors and complications of lower limb cellulitis inpatients at rural medical college, Mahabubnagar, Telangana State.

Methods:  We conducted a prospective study on 50 patients with cellulitis in either limb, who were admitted in surgical wards, medical wards, surgical and medical intensive care units of Government general hospital/ Government Medical college, Mahabubnagar, Telangana state, between period of April  2018 to September 2018. Detailed history and clinical examination of all patients were noted. Relevant investigations were done and were appropriately managed. They were managed conservatively or surgically depending on severity and followed up till complete recovery or 30 days after discharge whichever was earlier.

Results: The present study had 50 patients with male to female ratio of 2.8:1. Males were affected more than females. Most common age group affected was 51-60 years (16 patients, 32%) range between 24 to 80 years. Out of 50 patients 36 patients (72%) had lower limb involvement and 14 patients (28%) had upper limb involvement In lower limb, leg was affected in 38 patients (76%) whereas foot was involved in 12 patients (14%).All patients had swelling, redness and pain as presenting features whereas fever was present 35 patients (70%). Most cultures from the local site (28 patients, 56%) had negative growth. Most common organism grown was E. coli.  Most common risk factor was bare foot walking as seen in  35 patients (70%) patients followed by alcohol intake and smoking (30 patients each, 60%), diabetes (15, 30%), hypertension (13, 26%), direct trauma (10,20%). Local complications including compartment syndrome (6 patients, 12%) and necrotizing fasciitis (4 patients, 8%) were seen in 10 patients (20%). Systemic complication of multiple organ dysfunction syndromes was seen in 4 patients (8%) patients.

Conclusion: Creating awareness among the rural population regarding the entity of cellulitis, risk factors associated with it especially walking bare foot, alcohol, smoking and diabetes mellitus and the need for early recognition and treatment to prevent serious complications is an important aspect to be followed.


cellulitis, risk factors of cellulitis, complications of cellulitis

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