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What is Osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is an acute or chronic bone infection. Usually, the original site of infection is elsewhere in the body, and spreads to the bone by the blood. The bone may be predisposed to infection due to recent trauma.

In children, the long bones (such as the thigh bones) are usually affected by osteomyelitis. In adults, the vertebrae and the pelvis are most commonly affected by osteomyelitis.

Chronic Osteomyelitis

Chronic osteomyelitis results when bone tissue dies as a result of the lost blood supply. Chronic infection can go on for years. People who are at risk for developing chronic osteomyelitis are people who have had recent trauma, diabetic patients, hemodialysis patients, and IV drug abuse. Chronic Osteomyelitis is not very common. It occurs about 1 in 5,000 people.

Symptoms of Osteomyelitis

Some of the most common symptoms of osteomyelitis are:

  • Pain in the bone
  • Local swelling
  • Redness, and warmth
  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • An abscess at the site of infection.

Causes of Infection

Bacteria or fungus may cause the infection. Infection usually occurs through open fractures, penetrating wounds, or surgical operations. Infecting microorganisms may also reach the bone via the bloodstream, the most common means of bone infection in children.

When infection occurs, pus is produced within the bone. The pus might produce a bone abscess. An abscess will deprive the bone of its blood supply.

Can Osteomyelitis be Treated?

Osteomyelitis can be treated . It is important that you are treated. You doctor can prescribe medication (usually antibiotics) for you. If you are not treated bone destruction may occur.

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