What is an Osteomyelitis?


DEFINITION – What does Osteomyelitis mean?

Osteomyelitis is an infection that occurs in the bone.

BREAKING DOWN – Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis may come from the bloodstream or from surrounding tissues. Injury to the bone may also cause an infection to occur. Frequent symptoms of osteomyelitis include pain at the affected site, chills, a fever, swelling, redness, and irritability or fatigue in young children.

The most common spots for children to contract osteomyelitis are the bones of the legs and upper arm. For adults, it often occurs in the spine. It becomes a serious condition when the infection threatens to kill bone cells or when it spreads to other tissue. The infection may hinder blood circulation to the area, resulting in dead bone tissue. It may also spread to other tissue, causing problems within nearby joints. For children, the worry is that it may impact the development of their skeletal system. However, there are many treatment options today and it is an entirely curable condition.

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