Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria or other germs.
Bone infections are most often caused by staphylococcus bacteria, but they can also be caused by a fungus or other germs. With osteomyelitis:
- Bacteria can spread to a bone from infected skin, muscles, or tendons in close proximity to the bone.
- The infection can spread to the bone through the blood.
- The infection can begin following bone surgery, particularly when screws, plates and other prosthetic devices are installed in the bone.
The signs of osteomyelitis include bone pain, fever, chills, swelling, redness and pain at the infection site. Patients may also notice swelling in the lower extremities.
Along with the symptoms listed above, there are clinical tests to determine if osteomyelitis is present. They include blood cultures, bone biopsies, scans and x-rays; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and needle aspiration.
Treatment for osteomyelitis involves resolving the infection through a combination of IV antibiotic therapy and excellent wound care. Sometimes, when the infection is attributed to the installation of hardware, that hardware must be removed in order to heal fully. Then, bone grafts may be installed to fill in the spaces left by the removal of bone tissue and to encourage the growth of new bone tissue.
If you like this page, please share it!