What causes osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis occurs when an infection develops in a bone or spreads to a bone from another area of the body. It is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection (often staphylococcus bacteria), but may occur due to a fungal infection, as well.

Risk factors for the condition include diabetes, poor blood supply, recent injury, intravenous drug abuse, surgery involving the bones, and a weakened immune system.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?

A diagnosis of osteomyelitis is often suspected based on the presence of suspicious signs and symptoms. For example, a physical examination may show bone tenderness with possible swelling and redness. Additional tests and procedures can then be ordered to confirm the diagnose and to determine what is causing the infection.

Tests may include:

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is osteomyelitis inherited?

Osteomyelitis is not inherited. It is an infectious disease caused by bacteria or fungi.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with osteomyelitis?

When treatment is received, the outcome for acute osteomyelitis is usually good. The outlook is worse for chronic (long-term) osteomyelitis, even with surgery. Amputation may be needed, especially in diabetics or other patients with poor blood circulation. The outlook is guarded in those who have an infection of a prosthesis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might osteomyelitis be treated?

The primary aim of treatment is to address the infection and reduce damage to the affected bone. Antibiotics or anti-fungal medications may be given to destroy the bacteria or fungi that are causing the infection.

Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may also be needed to remove dead bone tissue. Surgical procedures may involve drainage of the infected area, removal of diseased bone and tissue, restoration of blood flow, or removal of foreign material.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

Osteomyelitis - Nemours Foundation

The Nemours Foundation provides information about osteomyelitis at the following link:

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: Infectious Diseases Society of America 1300 Wilson Blvd Suite 300
Arlington, VA, 22209, United States
Phone: +1-703-299-0200 Fax : +1-703-299-0204 Email: https://www.idsociety.org/contact-us/ Url: https://www.idsociety.org/
Name: The Limb Preservation Foundation 925 S Niagara Street Suite 610
Denver, CO, 80224,
Phone: (303) 429-0688 Email: khill@limbpreservation.org Url: http://limbpreservation.org/

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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