Knowhows of Osteomyelitis

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Knowhows of Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of bone marrow and is caused by long-term bacterial infection. It usually begins with a gum infection or break in the skin and

Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of bone marrow and is caused by long-term bacterial infection. It usually begins with a gum infection or break in the skin and then slowly spreads into your soft tissues and bone. Osteomyelitis, though not a common injury, is one of the most dangerous. This infection affects the bones and bone marrow and can quickly become life-threatening if not treated in a timely manner. It usually occurs in the bones of the feet, legs, arms, hands, and pelvis.

Types of osteomyelitis

Acute osteomyelitis: it is a form of osteomyelitis that occurs within two weeks of an injury, initial infection, or the onset of an underlying disease. The discomfort can be excruciating, and the condition can be fatal.

Subacute osteomyelitis: Within 1–2 months of an injury, initial infection, or the onset of an underlying disease, infection occurs in subacute osteomyelitis.

Chronic osteomyelitis: In chronic osteomyelitis, the infection begins at least two months after an injury, an initial infection, or the onset of an underlying disease.

Symptoms

Sometimes there are no signs or symptoms of osteomyelitis, or the signs and symptoms are difficult to differentiate from those of other illnesses. This is particularly true for children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

The following are visible signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis:

Fever

Swelling, warmth, and redness over the area of the infection

Pain in the area of the infection

Fatigue

Causes

The most common cause of osteomyelitis is staphylococcus bacteria, which can be found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy people. Germs can penetrate a bone through a number of channels, including:

The Bloodstream: Germs from other areas of the body, such as pneumonia in the lungs or a urinary tract infection in the bladder, will pass through your bloodstream to a damaged spot in a bone.

Injuries: Germs can be carried deep inside the body through severe puncture wounds. If an infection develops from such an injury, the germs may spread to a nearby bone. Germs will also penetrate the body if a bone has been damaged so badly that a piece of it has protruded through the skin.

Surgery: During procedures to replace joints or fix fractures, direct contamination with germs may occur.

When to see a doctor

If you have worsening bone pain and fever, see your doctor. If you're at risk of infection due to a medical condition, surgery, or accident, see your doctor as soon as possible if you find signs and symptoms of infection.

Complication

In most cases, the infection can be treated successfully, although complications can arise. Chronic osteomyelitis can appear to have gone, but then it resurfaces, or it can remain undetected for years. This may result in the death of bone tissue and the collapse of the bone. People with difficult-to-treat illnesses like extreme diabetes, HIV, impaired circulation, or a compromised immune system are more vulnerable.

Prevention

If your doctor has advised you that you have a higher chance of infection, speak to him or her about ways to avoid infections. Taking steps to reduce the risk of infection will also help you avoid developing osteomyelitis.

In general, avoid cuts, scrapes, and animal scratches or bites, which allow germs to easily enter your body. If you or your child has a minor injury, clean it right away and cover it with a fresh bandage. Inspect wounds for signs of infection on a regular basis.