Osteomyelitis or bone infection develops if fungi or bacteria invades a bone. Generally, among children, an infection typically forms in the long bones of the legs and arms. In adults, it develops in the spine, hips and feet.
An infection forms abruptly or develop over a long span of time. Consequently, if not correctly treated, an infection can result to permanent damage.
What are the causes?
Staphylococcus aureus is known to move via the bloodstream and trigger a bone infection. Generally, an infection can start in one site of the body and spread to the bones via the bloodstream.
In some cases, organisms that enter via a deep cut or wound can trigger an infection in the adjacent bones. Furthermore, bacteria can also enter via a surgical site such as the site of a fracture repair or hip replacement. Once the bone breaks, bacteria can enter the bone and result to osteomyelitis.
What are the signs?
Generally, the initial sign is pain at the site of infection. It can be accompanied by other signs such as:
- Fever and chills
- Redness in the infected site
- Drainage from the site
- Irritability or general feeling of being sick
- Lastly, stiffness or difficulty using the affected limb
Management of osteomyelitis
Generally, you can use various options in the management of osteomyelitis. In most cases, the doctor prescribes antibiotics as part of treatment. In addition, the doctor administers these drugs intravenously if the infection is severe for up to 6 weeks.
Oftentimes, osteomyelitis requires surgical intervention. If surgery is necessary, the doctor removes the bone and dead tissue as well as drain any abscess.
If a prosthesis is responsible for the infection, it is removed and replaced by a new one by the doctor. Any dead tissue near or bordering the infected site is removed as well.