At Marina del Rey Hospital, our specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating osteomyelitis. With osteomyelitis, time is of the essence. Contact our specialists today and take the first step towards healing!
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications for patients. Most commonly, osteomyelitis is the result of an infection of the blood that spreads to the bone; infection from an open wound; or the result of a fracture or surgical procedure.
In case of osteomyelitis, drugs are the first line of defense. Once your doctor has diagnosed you with osteomyelitis, the most common course of treatment is antibiotics. Sometimes your doctor will prescribe a few weeks of intravenous antibiotics to stop the infection.
If your case is more serious and osteomyelitis has already affected the bone or tissue, surgery may be necessary. To prevent the infection from spreading further, your doctor may drain the infected area and may remove any infected bone and tissue.
Acute osteomyelitis has a very quick development cycle and presents with the following symptoms, similar to chronic osteomyelitis:
Osteomyelitis might, at least in the beginning, look like many other conditions. This is why it is important that your doctor conducts the proper tests to provide a correct diagnosis:
There are certain factors that greatly increase one's risk for osteomyelitis:
Osteomyelitis is most commonly caused by infection with a common staph bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus is naturally present in almost a third of the human population and can sometimes cause cellulitis, abscesses or pimples, but is also responsible, aside from osteomyelitis, for very serious conditions such as meningitis, toxic shock syndrome and sepsis, and is a common cause of hospital-acquired infections – which is one of the causes of osteomyelitis after surgery.
Osteomyelitis can occur in both children and adults. In children it is usually acute and presents in the arm or leg bones. In adults, this condition can be acute or chronic; chronic osteomyelitis is recurrent and more difficult to deal with.
If you feel bone pain and notice persistent fever, contact a doctor immediately to avoid serious complications.
Osteomyelitis is easy enough to treat once it is detected and correctly diagnosed. However, if it is not, there are serious complications that may occur:
As osteomyelitis is an infection, it is unadvisable to attempt alternative treatments unsanctioned by a medical specialist, to cure this condition. While there are a number of medical adjunct therapies under consideration, from hyperbaric oxygen therapy to ultrasound therapy, remember that infections not treated by a doctor can spread throughout the body and lead to loss of function and even death.
As with many things, it is much easier to prevent osteomyelitis, as prevention merely requires cleanliness and attentiveness. If you have a cut, clean it or, better yet, have a doctor clean it and apply sterile bandages. The same goes for children – make sure their cuts and scrapes are well flushed out, cleaned and bandaged.
If in a hospital, make sure you signal any unusual pain or sign of a fever. Also, as with many other circumstances, make sure your doctor is fully informed of your conditions, such as diabetes, blood circulation problems, drug use or anything that might be even remotely relevant. It is always important to act quickly, detect and treat the infection as soon as possible.
Are you suffering from osteomyelitis? For any questions, information or guidance related to osteomyelitis, get in touch with our specialty-trained, skilled general surgeons at Marina del Rey Hospital.