- Acute (for a short time)
- Chronic (lasting for a long time)
- Age: young children and older adults
- Sex: male
- Trauma or injury to the bone and skin
- Broken bones, especially if open to or sticking through the skin
- Diabetes mellitus
- Kidney dialysis
- Intravenous drug abuse
- Weakened immune system
- Poor circulation
- Sickle cell anemia
- Any operation on a joint or bone, such as a hip replacement or internal fixation of a fracture
- Bone pain
- Fever or chills
- Tenderness, warmth, swelling, or redness of the skin or joint
- Drainage of pus
- Fatigue or irritability
- Restricted movement of the area
- A sore over bone that does not heal
|Skin Infection Spreading to Bone|
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- Blood tests—to check for signs of infection
- Needle aspiration of a joint—use of a needle to remove a sample for testing and culture
- Bone biopsy—removal of a sample of bone to test for abnormal cells
- X-rays—bone and tissue changes on x-ray may indicate osteomyelitis
- Bone scan—a series of pictures of bones taken after injection of a small amount of radioactive material that highlights the bones
- CT or MRI—radiographic tests to evaluate any bone changes that may indicate osteomyelitis
- Acute osteomyelitis is treated for at least 4-6 weeks
- Chronic osteomyelitis may require antibiotics for a longer period of time
- Clean infected bone via scraping and irrigating the area
- Remove any fragments of dead bone or tissue that may prolong the infection
- Seek immediate medical care for infections or injuries.
- Keep diabetes under good control.
- Do not use illegal drugs.
- See your doctor for any sores that do not heal.
- If you smoke, quit.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
US National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Bone and joint infections. Mayo Clinic Health Letter. February 26, 2001.
Carek PJ, Dickerson LM, et al. Diagnosis and management of osteomyelitis. Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(12).
Dambro MR. Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.
Osteomyelitis. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteomyelitis/DS00759. Updated June 2009. Accessed July 24, 2009.
- Reviewer: Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
- Review Date: 09/2011 -
- Update Date: 09/01/2011 -