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Also called: Chronic Osteomyelitis, Acute Osteomyelitis

- Summary
- About osteomyelitis
- Types and differences
- Risk factors and causes
- Signs and symptoms
- Diagnosis methods
- Treatment options
- Prevention methods
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Nikheel Kolatkar, M.D.


Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of bone due to infection. The infection can be acute or chronic and is usually bacterial. Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in the body's ability to break down blood sugar (glucose).

Risk factors for osteomyelitis include traumatic injury, diabetes, an impaired immune system, atherosclerosis, sickle cell anemia, bone surgery, hemodialysis and intravenous drug abuse. Signs and symptoms can include pain, swelling and fatigue.

Acute osteomyelitis is curable. In the early stages, treatment usually involves extended doses of intravenous and oral antibiotics. If the condition progresses to chronic osteomyelitis, however, it becomes extremely dangerous. Surgical removal of the infected bone or amputation of a limb may be necessary.

People help avoid osteomyelitis by practicing good hygiene and safety habits and by preventing or controlling the disorders that increase its risk.

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Review Date: 12-12-2007

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