Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was once only found in hospitalized patients. Recently, though, outbreaks of community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) have occurred among otherwise healthy athletes and the public at large.

MRSA is a highly contagious infection. It is concerning because it is resistant to an entire class of antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat. MRSA has a predilection for skin and soft tissue and can cause rapidly progressive cellulitis and abscesses.

Athletes who participate in contact sports are susceptible to complicated skin and soft-tissue infections caused by skin trauma, such as turf burns, abrasions, shaving, and chafing. Football and wrestling are the most commonly affected sports nationally, due to the greater amount of skin-on-skin contact and the large number of athletes congregating in common locker rooms.

In early stages, skin infections resulting from MRSA may resemble pimples, pustules, or boils—which may rapidly progress.
Athletes describe the pain as similar to a “spider bite.” The infection site may be hot and/or red and the athlete may have a low-grade fever. Infections may begin in areas of previous turf burns or abrasions.

To prevent the spread of MRSA Players should:
-Shower with hot water after practices and workouts.
-Refrain from sharing towels, clothes, and equipment.
-Show all pimples, boils, spider bites, lacerations, and abrasions to medical staff immediately.
-Have all open or draining wounds covered by staff athletic trainers.
-Follow the recommendations of the CDC listed below.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides useful information on the prevention of MRSA infections in the following website:

Every person and their particular circumstances are different. Any treatment for a suspected MRSA infection should be done under the guideance of a physician. Please read this information carefully. Write down any questions that you have about MRSA and its treatment and discuss them with you physcian.

The above information was adapted from the AAOS-Now.

Dr. Grutter's offices are located just outside Nashville in Gallatin, Tennessee. Directions to the Gallatin office from Nashville or surrounding areas in Tennessee can be located here. Please contact our office if you are from outside the Nashville, Tennessee area and would like assistance in arranging lodging or transportation for a consultation