What is Osteomyelitis Bone Infection?

Osteomyelitis – Definition, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What Is Osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection usually caused by bacteria. It is a painful bone infection that causes the bone to swell, eventually damages the bone, and causes bone loss. It is characterized by the presence of swelling and redness at the site of infection. The infection can reach the bone either through the bloodstream or by the injury in which the bone is exposed to the surface of the skin. Infection through the bloodstream is more common in children. Persons who have a smoking habit or suffer from chronic health conditions are more likely to be affected by osteomyelitis bone infection. Children and people aged over 50 are at a considerably higher risk of getting affected by this condition. Also, Women are less vulnerable than men.

Symptoms Of Osteomyelitis

Symptoms of osteomyelitis bone infection may include the following:-

  • Swelling on the site of the affected bone is accompanied by pain.
  • Redness on the site.
  • Back pain usually does not go away by using painkillers and taking rest.
  • Fever.
  • Abscesses may be present along with tissues around the affected bone.
  • Nausea.

What Are The Causes Of Osteomyelitis?

Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus. Osteomyelitis is generally caused after the case of bone fracture or any joint replacement. When this germ enters the bone, then they cause osteomyelitis. These germs can enter the bone in 3 ways. They are:-

  • After Surgery:

    During joint replacement or repairing the fractures, the bacteria can come in direct contact with the bones and enter them.

  • Injury:

    Several kinds of wounds, especially punctured wounds, can carry germs inside the body. If these wounds get infected, the germs can also infect the nearby bones. One more way of entering this germ is in the case of a third-degree fracture where a part of the bone is exposed to the skin surface. These germs can enter the bone easily from the skin surface.

  • Through Bloodstream:

    Germs present in other body parts can reach the weakened part of the bone through the blood and then cause the infection.

How Can Osteomyelitis Be Treated?

Treatment of osteomyelitis are:

  • Medicines: The doctor prescribes antibiotics that may work against that infection. The doctor may also prescribe other medications that may relieve the symptoms of osteomyelitis.
  • Natural therapy: In natural treatment, the main goal is to strengthen the body and make it fight against infection. Some herbs help in strengthening the immune system of the body. Hence, making the body fight against the infection of osteomyelitis. They are: –
    • Barberry: It has antibacterial properties, and hence it helps fight against bacterial infections in the body.
    • Siberian ginseng: ginseng helps in boosting the immune system of the body. Always ask the doctor before taking Siberian ginseng because it may interact with the medicines you might be taking.
    • Garlic: Eating garlic may be very beneficial. Garlic is a very good antibacterial agent. But, it may increase the chance of bleeding if you use it with blood-thinning medicines like aspirin or warfarin.
    • Echinacea: This herb may help increase the immune system and helps the body in fighting against osteomyelitis. It should not be taken by the person suffering from an autoimmune disease like HIV or rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Goldenseal: Goldenseal has a very good antibacterial property. It is also used in lowering the blood sugar level in the body. However, it may interact with some of the medicines you might take before using it. So, before starting taking goldenseal, take advice from your doctor.
  • Surgery:In the surgical approach to treating osteomyelitis bone infection, the doctor removes the debris and dead tissues from the infected site. This procedure may also result in bone deformity due to removing the infected portion of the bone.

Doctors Who Treat This Condition

Osteomyelitis is a condition characterized by bone infection. Once you experience the signs and symptoms, you should consult with your family doctor or a physician. After evaluating your symptoms, the physician may refer you to an orthopedic specialist or infectious disease specialist.

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