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Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in a bone. Infections can reach a bone by traveling through your bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue. Infections can also begin in the bone itself if trauma exposes your bone to germs. Bone infections commonly affect the long bones of your body, such as your leg bones and upper arm bone, as well as your spine and pelvis.
Complications of Osteomyelitis
Causes of Osteomyelitis
Signs & Symptoms of Osteomyelitis
Signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis depend on whether the condition is acute, lasting several months or less, or chronic, lasting several months to years.
Signs and symptoms of acute osteomyelitis include:
Signs and symptoms of chronic osteomyelitis include:
Sometimes osteomyelitis causes no signs and symptoms or has signs and symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from other problems. For instance, osteomyelitis of the hip, spine or pelvis may have few signs and symptoms. Osteomyelitis that occurs after a broken bone (fracture) or deep wound may cause pain and swelling that you may attribute to your injury, not an infection.
Diagnosis of Osteomyelitis
Your doctor conducts a physical exam to better understand your signs and symptoms if he or she suspects you may have osteomyelitis. Your doctor may feel the area around the affected bone for any tenderness, swelling or warmth. Your doctor may order a combination of tests and procedures to diagnose osteomyelitis and to determine what type of infection you have, including:
Treatments of Osteomyelitis
Prevention of Osteomyelitis
When to seek Medical Advice
See your doctor if you experience worsening bone pain along with signs and symptoms of an infection, such as fever and chills. If you're at risk of infection because of a medical condition or recent surgery or injury, see your doctor right away if you notice signs and symptoms of an infection.
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