What is Osteomyelitis?
Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. This infection is spread through the bloodstream to the bone or through the fracture or surgery that is exposed to the bone infection. It is also spread through nearby tissue.
People with acute health conditions like diabetes and kidney failure, and Smokers are more likely to develop osteomyelitis.
Types of Osteomyelitis –
There are following types of osteomyelitis –
- Hematogenous (blood-borne) osteomyelitis
- Anaerobic osteomyelitis
- Osteomyelitis due to vascular insufficiency
- Osteomyelitis, pyogenic, acute
- Osteomyelitis, pyogenic, chronic
- Vertebral osteomyelitis
Symptoms of Osteomyelitis –
Symptoms of Osteomyelitis include:
- Swelling and redness over the area of infection
- Pain in the area of infection
- Severe pain in back
Sometimes, Osteomyelitis may show no signs and symptoms, or the symptoms are hard to distinguish from other problems.
Who is at the risk of osteomyelitis?
It can affect both adults & children. But a few people are at a higher risk, like –
- People suffering from diabetes.
- People with weak immune systems.
- People having sickle cell disease.
- Drug abusers
Causes of Osteomyelitis –
Most cases of Osteomyelitis are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, types of germs found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals. Germs can enter bone in several ways, some of them are:
- The bloodstream- Germs present in other parts of your body, like in the lungs from pneumonia or in the bladder from a urinary infection, can travel through your bloodstream to a weakened spot in a bone.
- Injury- Some severe injuries and wounds can make your body prone to germs which can spread to nearby bones.
- Surgery- During surgeries to replace joints or repair fractures direct contamination with germs can take place.
Diagnosis of osteomyelitis
The doctor may order a combination of tests and procedures to diagnose Osteomyelitis and to find out which germ is causing the infection. Tests may include:
- Blood test –
Blood tests help in finding out the elevated levels of white blood cells and other factors that may indicate that your body is fighting an infection. Just in case, osteomyelitis is caused by an infection in the blood, tests may reveal which germs are to blame. Blood tests can in no case tell if you have Osteomyelitis or not, but it can help doctors decide what additional procedures you may need.
- Imaging tests –
X-rays can reveal the damage to your bones. However, it may not be visible until osteomyelitis has been present for several weeks. MRI (Magnetic resonance image) can produce detailed images of bones and the soft tissues surrounding them through radio waves and a strong magnetic field. A CT (Computerised Tomography) scan combines X-ray images taken from many different angles, creating detailed cross-sectional views of a person’s internal structures.
- Bone Biopsy-
A bone biopsy can reveal the type of germ that has infected your bone. Knowing the type of germ helps the doctor choose the best antibiotic.
Curefit is your personal doctor that can provide you on time consultations, full body check up, free follow up & proper diagnosis. They have a team of specialised doctors who can help you in solving all the medical related problems. So, if you need any help regarding the medical issues, you can contact them anytime.
Osteomyelitis Treatment –
- Drain the infected area – The surgeon opens the area around the infected bone and drains the pus or fluid accumulated.
- Removal of the diseased bone and tissue – This procedure is called debridement, where the surgeon removes as much of the diseased bone as possible and takes a small margin of healthy bone to make sure that all the infected areas from the body have been removed.
- Restore blood flow to the bone – The space left by the debridement procedure is filled with a piece of bone or other tissue, such as skin or muscle, from another part of your body.
- Remove any foreign objects – It is done to remove the foreign objects, such as surgical plates or screws placed during a previous surgery, may have to be removed.
Prevention from osteomyelitis –
To prevent Osteomyelitis, take precautions to avoid cuts, animal scratches or bites, and scrapes. If you have any minor injury, clean the area with antiseptic cream, and apply a bandage to avoid exposure to germs. If the doctor has warned you for an increased risk of infections, talk to your doctor about ways to prevent infections from occurring.