Osteomyelitis (Bone Infection)
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria or, in rare cases, a fungus. Your bones are a living tissue and, like other tissues in your body, can become infected by microbes.
Osteomyelitis may begin from an infection that spreads to your bone from neighboring tissue or through the blood. A bone that has suffered an injury is more prone to bone infection.
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You may have osteomyelitis if you experience pain or tenderness in a bone. You may also experience the inability to use or bear any weight on the affected limb. In addition, if you suffer from fever, chills, irritability, stiffness and swelling or redness over the affected bone there is a possibility you have osteomyelitis. However, exact diagnosis can only be made by your doctor. You should call your doctor immediately if the pain or fever worsens and you suspect a possible bone infection.
Osteomyelitis can happen at any age and affect any bone in your body. However, there are some medical conditions that increase the risk of osteomyelitis. These include hemodialysis, injected drug use and spleen removal. Patients with poor blood supply or blood circulation problems, like diabetics, smokers and people with sickle cell anemia are also at increased risk of osteomyelitis. A recent bone injury or orthopedic surgery is also factors that increase the risk of infection by allowing germs to access the bone.