How do you get osteomyelitis?

How is osteomyelitis transmitted?

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection usually caused by bacteria, mycobacteria, or fungi. Bacteria, mycobacteria, or fungi can infect bones by spreading through the bloodstream or, more often, by spreading from nearby infected tissue or a contaminated open wound.

How long does it take to get osteomyelitis?

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.

How long does osteomyelitis take to heal?

You’ll usually take antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks. 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.

What happens if osteomyelitis is untreated?

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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What bone is the most common site of osteomyelitis?

Among children and teens, the long bones of the legs and arms are most frequently affected. In adults, osteomyelitis most often affects the vertebrae of the spine and/or the hips. However, extremities are frequently involved due to skin wounds, trauma and surgeries.

What is the most common cause of osteomyelitis?

Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, types of germs commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals.

What are the long term effects of osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis needs long-term care to prevent complications, such as: Fractures of the affected bone. Stunted growth in children, if the infection has involved the growth plate. Tissue death (gangrene) in the affected area.

What is the best treatment for osteomyelitis?

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

  • Drain the infected area. …
  • Remove diseased bone and tissue. …
  • Restore blood flow to the bone. …
  • Remove any foreign objects. …
  • Amputate the limb.

What is the prognosis for osteomyelitis?

Outlook (Prognosis)

With treatment, the outcome for acute osteomyelitis is often good. The outlook is worse for those with long-term (chronic) osteomyelitis. Symptoms may come and go for years, even with surgery. Amputation may be needed, especially in people with diabetes or poor blood circulation.

Can osteomyelitis lead to sepsis?

An infection of the bone, called osteomyelitis, could lead to sepsis. In people who are hospitalized, bacteria may enter through IV lines, surgical wounds, urinary catheters, and bed sores.

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Can you feel a bone infection?

General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise) Local swelling, redness, and warmth. Open wound that may show pus. Pain at the site of infection.

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.

How can osteomyelitis be prevented?

One way to prevent osteomyelitis is to keep skin clean. All cuts and wounds — especially deep wounds — should be cleaned well. Wash a wound with soap and water, holding it under running water for at least 5 minutes to flush it out. To keep the wound clean afterward, cover it with sterile gauze or a clean cloth.