Is osteomyelitis a severe infection?

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, a rare but serious condition. Bones can become infected in a number of ways: Infection in one part of the body may spread through the bloodstream into the bone, or an open fracture or surgery may expose the bone to infection.

Is a bone infection serious?

An infection in your bone can impede blood circulation within the bone, leading to bone death. Areas where bone has died need to be surgically removed for antibiotics to be effective.

Can osteomyelitis be life threatening?

In acute osteomyelitis, infection develops within 2 weeks of an injury, initial infection, or the start of an underlying disease. The pain can be intense, and the condition can be life-threatening. A course of antibiotics or antifungal medicine is normally effective.

What type of infection is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is a bacterial, or fungal, infection of the bone. Osteomyelitis affects about 2 out of every 10,000 people. If left untreated, the infection can become chronic and cause a loss of blood supply to the affected bone. When this happens, it can lead to the eventual death of the bone tissue.

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Is osteomyelitis hard to treat?

These areas of dead bone are difficult to cure of infection because it is difficult for the body’s natural infection-fighting cells and antibiotics to reach them. The infection can also spread outward from the bone to form collections of pus (abscesses) in nearby soft tissues, such as the muscle.

Can a bone infection be cured?

Most cases of osteomyelitis are treatable. Chronic infections of the bone, however, may take longer to treat and heal, especially if they require surgery. Treatment should be aggressive because an amputation can become necessary sometimes. The outlook for this condition is good if the infection is treated early.

Is osteomyelitis an emergency?

Osteomyelitis can present to the emergency department as an acute, subacute, or chronic orthopedic concern.

How quickly does osteomyelitis spread?

Symptoms of Osteomyelitis

Acute osteomyelitis develops rapidly over a period of seven to 10 days.

How long does it take to recover from osteomyelitis?

If you have a severe infection, the course may last up to 12 weeks. It’s important to finish a course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better. If the infection is treated quickly (within 3 to 5 days of it starting), it often clears up completely. You can take painkillers to ease the pain.

What are the complications of osteomyelitis?

Some of the complications of osteomyelitis include:

  • Bone abscess (pocket of pus)
  • Bone necrosis (bone death)
  • Spread of infection.
  • Inflammation of soft tissue (cellulitis)
  • Blood poisoning (septicaemia)
  • Chronic infection that doesn’t respond well to treatment.

What is the best antibiotic for osteomyelitis?

Oral antibiotics that have been proved to be effective include clindamycin, rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and fluoroquinolones. Clindamycin is given orally after initial intravenous (IV) treatment for 1-2 weeks and has excellent bioavailability.

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What does osteomyelitis pain feel like?

There may be bone pain, swelling, redness and tenderness of the affected area. A discharge of pus from an opening to the infected bone is often the first symptom. There may also be destruction of the bone with pieces of the infected bone separating from the healthy bone.

Can osteomyelitis cause nerve damage?

Patients with chronic osteomyelitis may report bone pain, tenderness, and draining abscesses around infected bone for long periods of time (months to years). Rarely, vertebral osteomyelitis may affect the nerves in the spine. If the infection travels into the spinal canal, this can result in an epidural abscess.

What should you do if osteomyelitis is suspected?

The most common treatments for osteomyelitis are surgery to remove portions of bone that are infected or dead, followed by intravenous antibiotics given in the hospital.

Surgery

  1. Drain the infected area. …
  2. Remove diseased bone and tissue. …
  3. Restore blood flow to the bone. …
  4. Remove any foreign objects. …
  5. Amputate the limb.
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