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Osteomyelitis (Bone Infection)

What is Osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria or fungi. If left untreated, this bone infection can have serious consequences, such as removal of an infected limb or organ.

What Are the Symptoms of Osteomyelitis?

Symptoms of osteomyelitis vary depending on the type and cause. Some people with chronic osteomyelitis do not have any symptoms. Along with pain, the infected area may be red, hot, swollen and tender to touch. Other symptoms of osteomyelitis are: Discharge Pain in the bone with osteomyelitis Sweating or chills Fever Limited, painful movement Loss of appetite What are the Causes of Osteomyelitis? Our bones are normally resistant to infection, but as we age, this resistance decreases, making us more susceptible to bone infection.

Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by staphylococcal bacteria, which are types of microbes commonly found on the skin or nose of even healthy individuals. Germs can enter a bone in many ways, some of which are: Germs from other parts of your body can travel through your bloodstream to a weakened spot in the bone. With the formation of open wounds, germs can be carried deep into your body. If such a wound becomes infected, germs can also infect a nearby bone. Germs can also enter the body if a bone is broken so violently that part of it sticks out through your skin. (Occurrence of open fracture) During some orthopedic surgeries, direct contamination of the bone with microbes may occur.

How Is Osteomyelitis Treated?

A bone infection can take a long time to heal. Your bone will be treated sooner if you apply to our hospital when you first notice the symptoms. Treatments include: Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the infection. You may need antibiotics for six to eight weeks, starting with intravenous (IV) antibiotics for a week or two in the hospital. You will then take the medication by mouth for several weeks. Chronic infections may require antibiotics for months. You may need to take oral antifungal medications for months to clear up fungal infections. Our doctor may use a fine needle to drain the fluid and pus from the abscess.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers are helpful in treating pain and inflammation. Surgery is sometimes needed to treat bone infections. You will need antibiotics after surgery. Your surgical options consist of: Bone surgery: Infected dead tissue and bone are surgically removed (debrided). This procedure can cause bone deformities. Spine surgery: This procedure prevents the vertebrae from collapsing and damaging the spinal cord, nerves, and other parts of the nervous system.


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