Adam C. Young, MD
Alan C. League, MD
Albert Knuth, MD
Alejandra Rodriguez-Paez, MD
Alexander E. Michalow, MD
Alexander Gordon, MD
Alexander M. Crespo, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
Ami Kothari, MD
Amy Jo Ptaszek, MD
Anand Vora, MD
Andrea S. Kramer, MD
Andrew J. Riff, MD
Angela R. Crowley, MD
Angelo Savino, MD
Anthony Savino, MD
Anuj S. Puppala, MD
Ari Kaz, MD
Ashraf H. Darwish, MD
Ashraf Hasan, MD
Bradley Dworsky, MD
Brian Clay, MD
Brian J. Burgess, DPM
Brian R. McCall, MD
Brian Schwartz, MD
Brian Weatherford, MD
Brooke Vanderby, MD
Bruce E. Noxon, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Bruce Summerville, MD
Bryan Waxman, MD
Bryant S. Ho, MD
Carey E. Ellis, MD
Carla Gamez, DPM
Cary R. Templin, MD
Charles L. Lettvin, MD
Charles M. Lieder, DO
Chinyoung Park, MD
Christ Pavlatos, MD
Christian Skjong, MD
Christopher C. Mahr, MD
Craig Cummins, MD
Craig Phillips, MD
Craig S. Williams, MD
Craig Westin, MD
Daniel M. Dean, MD
David Beigler, MD
David Guelich, MD
David H. Garelick, MD
David Hamming, MD
David Hoffman, MD
David M. Anderson, MD
David Norbeck, MD
David Raab, MD
David Schneider, DO
Djuro Petkovic, MD
Douglas Diekevers, DPM
Douglas Solway, DPM
E. Quinn Regan, MD
Eddie Jones Jr., MD
Edward J. Logue, MD
Elliot A. Nacke, MD
Ellis K. Nam, MD
Eric Chehab, MD
Eric L. Lee, MD
Evan A. Dougherty, MD
Garo Emerzian, DPM
Gary Shapiro, MD
Giridhar Burra, MD
Gregory Brebach, MD
Gregory J. Fahrenbach, MD
Gregory Portland, MD
Harpreet S. Basran, MD
Inbar Kirson, MD, FACOG, Diplomate ABOM
Jacob M. Babu, MD, MHA
Jalaal Shah, DO
James M. Hill, MD
James R. Bresch, MD
Jason G. Hurbanek, MD
Jason Ghodasra, MD
Jason J. Shrouder-Henry, MD
Jeffrey Ackerman, MD
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Jeffrey Staron, MD
Jeffrey Visotsky, MD
Jeremy Oryhon, MD
John H. Lyon, MD
Jonathan Erulkar, MD
Jordan L. Goldstein, MD
Josephine H. Mo, MD
Juan Santiago-Palma, MD
Justin Gent, MD
Justin M. LaReau, MD
Kellie Gates, MD
Kermit Muhammad, MD
Kevin Chen, MD
Kris Alden MD, PhD
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Leigh-Anne Tu, MD
Leon Benson, MD
Lori Siegel, MD
Lynn Gettleman Chehab, MD, MPH, Diplomate ABOM
Marc Angerame, MD
Marc Breslow, MD
Marc R. Fajardo, MD
Marie Kirincic, MD
Mark Gonzalez, MD
Mark Gross, MD
Mark Hamming, MD
Mark Mikhael, MD
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Michael Chiu, MD, FAAOS
Michael J. Corcoran, MD
Michael O'Rourke, MD
Nathan G. Wetters, MD
Nikhil K. Chokshi, MD
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Ronak M. Patel, MD
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Scott Jacobsen, DPM
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Serafin DeLeon, MD
Shivani Batra, DO
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Steven G. Bardfield, MD
Steven Gross, MD
Steven Jasonowicz, DPM
Steven M. Mardjetko, MD
Steven S. Louis, MD
Steven W. Miller, DPM
Surbhi Panchal, MD
T. Andrew Ehmke, DO
Taizoon Baxamusa, MD
Teresa Sosenko, MD
Theodore Fisher, MD
Thomas Gleason, MD
Timothy J. Friedrich, DPM
Todd R. Rimington, MD
Todd Simmons, MD
Tom Antkowiak, MD, MS
Tomas Nemickas, MD
Van Stamos, MD
Wayne M. Goldstein, MD
Wesley E. Choy, MD
William P. Mosenthal, MD
William Robb, MD
William Vitello, MD

What Causes Osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that is normally caused by bacteria. It is seen most frequently in children and typically affects the long leg bones, the long arm, and vertebrae. The bacterial infection may enter the body through a skin cut or an infection somewhere else in the body. When diagnosed early, osteomyelitis can successfully be treated with antibiotics, however if not diagnosed in time it can lead to more serious complications.

Osteomyelitis is a fairly rare condition. Only about two of every 10,000 people develop it. It can affect both children and adults, but in different ways. There are certain behaviors and conditions that can weaken a person’s immune system, increasing their risk of developing osteomyelitis.

Causes

Most people who get osteomyelitis get it through contact with bacteria — a germ typically found in the nose or on the skin of even healthy people.

These germs can enter the body and bones in a number of ways, like:

Through the bloodstream. Germs in other body parts can flow into the bloodstream to a weak part of a bone. Osteomyelitis in children often occurs in the softer part of the bone known as growth plates where the bone is still forming and growing.

From an adjacent infection. Large cuts and puncture wounds can allow germs to gain access to the body. If an injury like this becomes infected, germs may spread into neighboring bone.

Direct contamination. This can happen if a person breaks a bone so that it is actually sticking through their skin. Another way direct contamination can happen is during surgery to repair fractures or replace joints.

Symptoms

Osteomyelitis has a variety of symptoms, below are some of the most common.
The symptoms of osteomyelitis include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Pain surrounding the infection site
  • Lethargy or irritability in children
  • Warmth, swelling, and redness over the infection site

Treatment
Determining whether a patient actually has osteomyelitis is the first stage of treatment. The physician will use blood tests, x-rays, and bones scans to diagnose. The type of infection must also be determined in order to prescribe the correct medication. 

The actual treatment normally consists of the use of antibiotics to combat the infection. The antibiotics are normally given using an IV for several weeks, then in the form of a pill.

Chicago Osteomyelitis Treatment

You should see a physician if you are having bone pain that is getting worse and/or a fever (find an orthopedic physicians near you). If you are at a higher risk of developing an infection because of recent surgery or a medical condition, visit your physician promptly if you see signs consistent with an infection.

*The blog is for general information and educational purposes only regarding musculoskeletal conditions. The information provided does not constitute the practice of medicine or other healthcare professional services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. Readers with musculoskeletal conditions should seek the advice of their healthcare professionals without delay for any condition they have. The use of the information is at the reader’s own risk. The content is not intended to replace diagnosis, treatment or medical advice from your treating healthcare professional.

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