Osteomyelitis is an infection that can infect any bones inside the body.
A recent injury to a bone can cause the disease to occur. Infection can travel through the bloodstream to reach other bones inside the body. People suffering from diabetes can develop the disease in their legs and feet. Chronic health problems can make people more at risk of having the disease.
Instruments used in surgical procedures can spread germs inside the body to cause osteomyelitis. Tubing used for dialysis and catheters can introduce staphylococcus bacteria in the body that develops into osteomyelitis. Cancer treatments weaken a patient’s ability to fight infection, which increases the risk of developing the disease.
Symptoms can include having severe pain in the affected area of infection.
Fever and swelling may accompany the symptoms. Nausea and weakness may develop. People should see a doctor when any of these medical signs are apparent.
Complications from osteomyelitis can cause bone death that needs to be removed by surgery for antibiotics to work. Septic arthritis can develop when the infection invades joints. Squamous cell skin cancer can develop with open sores caused by osteomyelitis.
Diagnosis of the disease can be determined by blood tests administered at a hospital or clinic. The blood tests can offer doctors clues on what additional procedures they need to do to determine the true cause of the problem. An MRI and x-rays could be used to help them diagnose the disease.
Doctors may do a bone biopsy to reveal the germ infection inside the bone. Surgery could be required to remove the infected bone from the body. They can treat the disease with antibiotics after determining what type of infection has invaded the bone area.