Osteomyelitis: What to Expect
Osteomyelitis is a rare but serious bone infection. Infections may exist in bones for a number of reasons: Infection from another part of the body may spread to the bone, or an open fracture or surgery may expose the bone to infection also. In many cases, a staph bacteria causes osteomyelitis and diabetics are at a particularly high risk.
A bone infection is rare only affecting 2 out of every 10,000 people. Osteomyelitis can affect children and adults. Bone surgery, including joint replacements; also increase the incidents of bone infection. Immune system weakening conditions and behaviors also increase a person’s risk for osteomyelitis, including:
- Diabetes (most cases of osteomyelitis stem from diabetes)
- Sickle cell disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Intravenous drug use
- Long-term use of steroids
- Poor blood supply
- Recent injury
Acute osteomyelitis develops rapidly over a period of seven to 10 days. The symptoms for acute and chronic osteomyelitis are very similar and include:
- Fever, irritability, fatigue
- Tenderness, redness, and warmth in the area of the infection
- Swelling around the affected bone
- Lost range of motion
Diagnosing osteomyelitis can sometimes be difficult. At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we may order X-rays, blood tests, MRI, and bone scans to get a picture of what’s going on. A bone biopsy is necessary to confirm whether a bone infection exists or not. The biopsy also helps determine the type of bone infection, typically bacterial, is causing the problem so we can get you the correct medication. Treatment will usually consist of an antibiotic regiment that will kill the bacteria causing the bone infection. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove the infected bone to prevent further spread.
With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. If you suspect you have a bone infection (Osteomyelitis) in your foot or ankle or if you are feeling pain in your foot or ankle of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.