What Is Osteomyelitis?
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria or fungi. If left untreated, this bone infection can have serious consequences, such as removal of the infected limb or organ.
What Are The Symptoms of Osteomyelitis?
Symptoms of osteomyelitis vary depending on the type and cause. Some people with chronic osteomyelitis do not have any symptoms. Along with the pain, the infected area may be red, hot, swollen, and sensitive to contact. Other symptoms of osteomyelitis include:
Pain in the bone with osteomyelitis
Sweating or shivering
Limited, painful movement
Loss of appetite
What Are the Causes of Osteomyelitis?
Our bones are normally resistant to infection, but with age, this resistance decreases and makes us more susceptible to bone infection. Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, the types of germs commonly found on the skin or nose of even healthy individuals.
Microbes can enter a bone in many ways, including:
Germs in other parts of your body can pass through your bloodstream to a weakened point in the bone.
With the formation of open wounds, germs can be carried deep into your body. If such a wound becomes infected, the germs can also infect a nearby bone. Germs can also enter the body if a part of a bone breaks violently enough to come out of your skin. (Occurrence of open fracture)
During some orthopedic surgeries, germ contamination may occur directly to the bone.
How Is It Treated?
It can take a long time for a bone infection to heal. If you apply to our hospital when you first notice the symptoms, your bone will be treated in a shorter time.
Treatments include: Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause the infection. Starting with intravenous (IV) antibiotics for a week or two in the hospital, you may need antibiotics for six to eight weeks. You will then take the medication orally for several weeks. Chronic infections may require antibiotics for months.
You may need to take oral antifungal medications for months to clear up fungal infections.
Our doctor may use a thin needle to drain the fluid and pus from the abscess.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers help in treating pain and inflammation.
Sometimes surgery is needed to treat bone infections. You will need antibiotics after the surgery.
Your surgical options consist of:
Bone surgery: Infected dead tissue and bone are surgically removed (debrided). This procedure may cause bone deformities.
Spinal surgery: This procedure prevents the vertebrae from collapsing and damaging the spinal cord, nerves, and other parts of the nervous system.