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If you have an infection in your bone, it’s rare and serious and needs immediate medical attention. At Arizona Infectious Disease, we provide expert care for men, women, and children, who have osteomyelitis and other infectious diseases. Call the office to schedule an appointment or reserve a convenient time online.

Osteomyelitis Q & A

What is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is an acute or chronic infection in one of your bones.The typical cause of osteomyelitis is bacteria, but it’s frequently the result of bone surgery, such as a hip replacement or fracture repair.

The infection inflames the bone and causes severe pain. While it can happen to anyone at any age, osteomyelitis affects people differently. Men and women usually get the infection in the bones of their feet, hips, or spine. Children most often get osteomyelitis in their legs or arms.

What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are general and include:

  • Fever

  • Pain

  • Chills

  • Lethargy

  • Reduced range of motion in affected area

  • Lack of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Swelling and redness

In some cases, pus from the infection can seep through the skin.

Who is at risk for osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis can strike men, women, or children of any race, but there are some people who are more prone than others, including people who:

  • Have diabetes

  • Are elderly

  • Use intravenous drugs

  • Have a compromised immune system

  • Are receiving hemodialysis

  • Recently had bone surgery

  • Have inadequate blood supply

People with sickle-cell disease or cancer also have an increased risk of developing osteomyelitis.

How is osteomyelitis treated?

The team at Arizona Infectious Disease conducts an extensive physical exam, reviews your medical history, and evaluates your symptoms to diagnose osteomyelitis. He may need to take an X-ray, get a blood test, do an MRI, or take a bone biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

The biopsy helps the team at Arizona Infectious Disease determine what type of bacteria, fungi, or germ is causing the osteomyelitis. The team uses those findings to customize a treatment plan for you.

The first line of defense is typically antibiotics and antifungals, either by pill or through an IV, for several weeks. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infection from the bone and damaged tissues or bone fragments.

If you suspect osteomyelitis, you need swift and compassionate care. Call the clinic to schedule a consultation or use the online scheduler to book an appointment at your convenience.

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