Leukocytosis is a poor indicator of acute osteomyelitis of the foot in diabetes mellitus

David G. Armstrong, Lawrence A. Lavery, Monal Sariaya, Hisham Ashry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to describe the frequency of leukocytosis and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate in a series of diabetics with acute foot infections and osteomyelitis due to neuropathic foot ulcerations. The authors reviewed the admission records of 28 type II diabetic patients admitted to University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas between January 1, 1990 and December 30, 1992 with acute osteomyelitis of the foot secondary to neuropathic ulceration. The mean white blood cell count on admission for all subjects studied was calculated at 11.9 ± 5.4 x 103 cells/mm. Of all white blood cell counts collected for patients admitted with acute osteomyelitis of the foot, 54% were within normal limits. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was elevated in 96% of patients. Oral temperature was normal in 82% of patients. The authors conclude that a normal white cell count should not deter one from taking appropriate action to mitigate the propagation of a potentially limb- threatening foot infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-283
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • diabetes mellitus
  • erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • infection
  • leukocytosis
  • osteomyelitis
  • white blood cell count

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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