WHAT IS IT?
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone or bone marrow that is commonly caused by a bacterial infection, or in some cases, fungi. Although it is not always possible to locate the exact origin of infection, these microorganisms can infect the bones in the following ways:
- Bacteria enter the bone through a traumatic or surgical wound
- Bacteria travel through the bloodstream from other infected areas in the body
- Infection spreads to the bone from an adjacent, soft-tissue wound
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Common symptoms associated with the infection include:
- Discomfort in the affected area
- Fevers or night sweats
- Lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Persistent drainage from a wound
- Swelling and redness in the area of a surgical incision
WHO IS MOST AT RISK?
Individuals with the following conditions are at a higher risk for developing osteomyelitis:
- Chronic Lymphedema
- Extensive scarring
- Large surgical implants (i.e., total joint prosthesis)
- Organ failure
- Previous radiation therapy
- Steroid use
- Use of tobacco products
There are a variety of ways to test for osteomyelitis, which can include blood tests, bone scans, CT scans, MRI, biopsy, and white blood cell scans. When developing an individualized treatment plan, we will consider the location of infection, overall health of the patient, quality of bone and soft tissue, and the severity of infection.
Treatments for osteomyelitis commonly include a combination of medical (local and systemic antibiotics) and surgical interventions.
Surgical treatments may include one or more of the following procedures:
- Drainage of the infected area
- Reconstruction to restore form and function
- Removal of infected hardware, prosthetic joint implants, and dead bone
- Removal of foreign bodies such as suture material or retained bone cement
BEFORE & AFTER
OsteomyelitisClick Arrow to Start Gallery
Disclaimer: Images are graphic in nature.