Osteomyelitis is a type of bacterial bone infection that can be caused by various microbial agents such as bacteria or fungus. Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria commonly found on human skin, is the most frequent cause of osteomyelitis.
This infection can begin from several sources. Firstly, it can occur through direct injury to the bone, such as an open fracture where the bone ends pierce the skin. Secondly, it can spread from other parts of the body, such as a skin infection, or it can travel via the bloodstream. Lastly, it can come from a chronic foot wound or infection, especially common in individuals with diabetes.
If you suspect osteomyelitis, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. An examination from a foot and ankle surgeon is wise. They will conduct diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-rays, or other imaging studies to reach a diagnosis.
Without urgent intervention, the bone filled with pus deprives the bone from its necessary blood supply, leading to bone tissue death. The symptoms of osteomyelitis include pain, swelling, redness or warmth in the affected area, and fever.
Suppose a diagnosis of osteomyelitis is confirmed. In that case, the treatment typically involves a combination of antibiotic therapy and surgery. The antibiotics may be given orally in mild cases or intravenously for severe cases. Unfortunately, antibiotics alone are usually inadequate in treating chronic cases of osteomyelitis. For such cases, surgical removal of infected or dead bone tissue may be required.
If you think you have osteomyelitis or any other bone related infection, or you have a non-healing open wound, please do not hesitate to see Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, a foot, ankle, and wound care specialist, immediately for expert care. It is best to see a specialist to prevent any further complications.
In conclusion, osteomyelitis is a severe bone infection that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment, including antibiotics and surgery. It can arise from a variety of sources, including direct bone injury or as a result of other infections in the body. Seek medical attention if you suspect any form of bone infection, and remember, prevention is key.