American Institute of Homeopathy


Case Report: A 56-Year-Old Male with Cellulitis/Myositis Status Post Right Hip Replacement

A 56-Year-Old Male with Cellulitis/Myositis Status Post Right Hip Replacement

A Homeopathic Medicine Case Report

AJHM (Spring 2016 Issue - Volume 110 Number 1) by Susanne Saltzman, MD

Abstract: A 56-year-old male with cellulitis/myositis status post a right hip replacement unsuccessfully treated with several courses of antibiotics was cured with two doses of a homeopathic medicine. Homeopathy can be an effective treatment for this condition without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. Keywords: status post (s/p) hip replacement, cellulitis, myositis, homeopathy, Sulphur

Patient Information

A 56-year-old male came in for weight loss and fatigue, displaying a slight limp as he walked into the office.His limp was a result of chronic pain from cellulitis/myositis surrounding the area of the scar s/p a right hip replacement fifteen months prior. There was no infection within the hip joint itself. He stated that he had been on multiple courses of intravenous and oral antibiotics and, due to the lack of response, his doctors determined that the infectionwas “probably in the muscle because of its resistance to treatment.” At this point they were taking a “wait and see” approach despite the fact that the patient was in chronic pain and unable to exercise which he felt was contributing to his inability to lose weight.

On exam, the area of erythema (surrounding the scar) was approximately five inches wide and six inches in length and warm to the touch. On palpation there was hardening of the tissue underneath and it was tender to touch. 

After taking his case, it was determined that the “simillimum was Sulphur (He was a physically large, friendly man with a tendency to perspiration, hot and aggravated by heat, thirsty and craved sweets). Having used Sulphur successfully to treat cellulitis in the past, especially when Sulphur fit the patient’s constitution, I did not hesitate to prescribe two doses of Sulphur 30c to be taken a few days apart.

He returned six weeks later with a noticeable improvement in his gait and reported a marked improvement in his energy and pain to the point where he was walking more comfortably. However, he was concerned about a mass that had developed in the area of the cellulitis/myosits (see photo A). The mass was approximately the size of a half-dollar located right below the scar. On exam, it was hard to the touch and slightly tender. However, the area of  erythema surrounding the scar was noticeably lighter and there was less tenderness on palpation.

Although the mass was suspicious, the surrounding infection itself seemed to be resolving and he was in less pain. Could this be some type of healing  response? Was the infection coming to a head?

Plan: I referred him to his surgeon to have a biopsy done. No homeopathic medicine was prescribed.

Photo 2Follow-up: Four weeks later, the patient stated that by the time he saw his surgeon, the mass had decreased in size to the point that repeated aspirations with saline by the surgeon failed to extract any tissue.

Photo B shows the mass largely resolved ten weeks post Sulphur and the erythema is markedly improved.

At this point, four months later, the patient continues to do well and the infection appears to have resolved.

Discussion

The purpose of reporting this case is not to illustrate materia medica; thus, I did not give details as to why I had prescribed Sulphur. My goal was to show how homeopathic medicine can cure even the most resistant infections. In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance and anti-homeopathic sentiment, it is imperative that we homeopathic physicians continue to publish our cured cases so that our readers understand that there is indeed a gentler, safer and often more effective treatment that can be used as a first resort rather than as a last desperate attempt when all conventional methods have failed.

About the author: Susanne Saltzman, MD, has been practicing Classical Homeopathy for 24 years in Westchester and Rockland counties. She is also certified in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). She serves as a Faculty Instructor at New York Medical College where she teaches a course in Homeopathic Medicine for fourth year medical students. Dr. Saltzman is also current Vice President of the American Institute of Homeopathy as well as the Editor of this journal.