What Is Osteomyelitis?
Osteomyelitis can be caused from an infection in your bone by bacteria or fungi. The infection may have been caused by bone surgery, such as a hip replacement, or other trauma.
The original infection might have been in the muscles, skin, or other tissue that surround the site of osteomyelitis. However, it can spread from one place in your body to another, such as an untreated wound. It could also have migrated from another area of your body through the bloodstream or may have arisen from the blood.
Children are most often affected in their arms or legs. Adult men and women tend to develop osteomyelitis in their feet, spine, and hips. However, you can get a bone infection anywhere in your body.
Osteomyelitis can occur as an acute incident or may develop into a chronic condition. Chronic osteomyelitis that is not treated or is poorly controlled leads to severe complications, such as bone necrosis (bone death). Osteomyelitis cannot be inherited.
What Are the Risk Factors for Osteomyelitis?
The risk factors for developing a bone infection include:
- Long-term skin infections
- Undergoing hemodialysis
- Poor blood circulation
- Recent injury or surgery
- Abusing intravenous drugs
- Compromised immune system
- Sickle-cell anemia
How Can I Tell If I Have Osteomyelitis?
If you have any of the following symptoms of osteomyelitis, immediately call a podiatrist at Alliance Ankle & Foot Specialists, or go to the emergency room:
- Pain in your bone
- Fever, chills, or excessive sweating
- Open wound, with or without pus
- Swelling, redness, or warmth near the pain
- Feeling poorly, lethargic, or irritable
- Muscle spasms near the bone
- Reduced movement of affected body part
- Unexplained weight loss
What Are the Best Treatments for Osteomyelitis?
The specialists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists treat your osteomyelitis with antibiotics or antifungal medications that kill the organisms that caused it.
Depending on the severity of your case, you may need surgery that removes dead or dying tissue and bone, improves the flow of blood to the affected area, and removes any foreign materials that may be present.
Chronic osteomyelitis is difficult to treat. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of a bone infection, getting medical attention as soon as possible increases your chances of a good outcome.
Contact your podiatrist at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists if you see signs of an infection.