Osteomyelitis is a type of disease characterized by inflammation of bones due to either bacterial or fungal infection. Adults and children are susceptible to contract such a kind of disease condition.
In many cases, patients with osteomyelitis may not present with any signs and symptoms. In conditions when they do, the following are experienced:
A combination of tests would be required to diagnose osteomyelitis. The following methods would be employed:
The primary and major goal of treatment of osteomyelitis is curing the infection and correcting the diseased part of bone. This is achieved through combination of a strict antibiotic regime, along with surgical procedures to remove the infected bone and surrounding tissues.
The prognosis is favorable for patients with acute osteomyelitis. However, those with the chronic form, often suffer from debilitating symptoms even after surgery. In severe cases, amputation would be the last resort in patients in whom the blood circulation is poor or diabetes is the underlying cause.
In cases of patients with prosthesis, the prognosis would largely depend on the age of the individual and his overall health. The type of infection that has set in would also determine the outlook of the condition .
In most cases, bacterial infections by Staphylococcus aureus are the cause of osteomyelitis. Infections generally occur in population who have suffered trauma due to vehicle accidents or sports injuries. In about 47% of cases, osteomyelitis occurs in posttraumatic patients . The condition can even aggravate existing puncture wounds of the foot. Individuals with diabetes, sickle cell anemia and weakened immune profile are at high risk of developing osteomyelitis.
About 20% cases of osteomyelitis that affect adults are hematogenous in nature. Spinal osteomyelitis occurs in about 1 in every 450,000 population. The incidence of such a kind of bone infection is found to be higher in the developing countries. The worldwide prevalence of osteomyelitis is thought to be about 2 in every 10,000 individuals .
Under normal conditions bone is resistant to any type of infections. However, conditions such as surgery or trauma can introduce microorganisms causing development of infections. There are 2 ways through which bones are exposed to microorganisms: Hemotogenously from the neighboring structures, or during surgical treatments to correct certain diseases of the bone or trauma. Severe puncture wounds may also carry the microorganism into the system and infect the bones. Several factors such as immunity status of the host, underlying disease conditions, and virulence of the organisms, are all involved in the pathogenesis of osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis can be both acute and chronic in nature .
Various steps can be taken to prevent the onset of infection. Individuals are advised to take necessary precautions to avoid cuts and wounds. In cases when they get one, it is necessary to immediately clean the wound with antiseptic solution and cover with dressing. Individuals with diabetes are advised to keep their diet under control, in order to prevent blood glucose levels from increasing. This would in turn aid in speedy recovery from surgery or wounds.
The long bones of the legs and upper arms in children and the spine in adults are most likely to be affected by osteomyelitis. In the past, osteomyelitis had no cure; however, today the disease can be successfully treated with surgery and medications. Early initiation of treatment is essential for preventing development of chronic conditions. Individuals with open fractures are highly vulnerable to contract osteomyelitis .
Osteomyelitis is a condition characterized by development of infection of the bone due to bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. The bones can get infected, when bacteria travel through the bloodstream, and affect the bone or the neighboring tissues. In many instances, the condition can primarily originate in the bone, if an injury to the bone has exposed it to germs.
Most often, Staphylococcus aureus causes infection of the bone. However, in certain instances viral or fungal agents can also play foul. Individuals with prosthesis or, diabetic individuals, who have undergone surgery, are at high risk of developing osteomyelitis.
Symptoms of osteomyelitis include swelling, along with redness of the affected area. The area is tender to touch, and individuals may also experience fever, chills, nausea and malaise as secondary signs of infection.
Osteomyelitis is diagnosed through blood tests, that reveal type of infection, and bone scans to evaluate the extent of damage to the bone. In addition, bone biopsy is also required and considered as gold standard in diagnosis of osteomyelitis.
Individuals are given antibiotics to treat the infection, followed by surgery to correct the diseased part of the bone.