Osteomyelitis is the clinical term for bone infection, and it usually happens when bacteria or fungi colonize a bone in the hips, feet, long arms, legs, or spine. Bone infections can be sudden or take a long while to develop and present symptoms. If not appropriately addressed, osteomyelitis can escalate to chronic bone infection and inhibit blood supply, leading to bone tissue death. If you seek a specialist for bone infection in San Antonio, you can count on Wound Evolution experts.
Who is prone to osteomyelitis?
Anyone can suffer from bone infections, including young children, but the responsible bacteria and fungi vary from one age group to another. Children with this disease will mainly suffer in the long bones responsible for giving support, structure, and mobility. Pelvis and vertebrae infections are common among adults. People who suffer from underlying conditions like sickle cell anemia and diabetes, or drug users, are more susceptible to contracting a bone infection.
How does osteomyelitis occur?
When bacteria enter the bloodstream, it is deposited in one part of the bone and spread to other areas. If there is an open wound that is largely untreated, bacteria can access the inside of this wound to reach the bone. Trauma on any limb can trigger a blood clot, and then bacteria may colonize around this clot, thus destroying the bone entirely. Bone surgery is another culprit that can pave the way for bone infection, especially when metal rods are used to secure the bone so it’s functional again.
What are the signs of osteomyelitis?
The most prevalent signs of bone infection are swelling and reddening around the infected part, maybe from an accident. You may feel feverish, uneasy, and generally feeling unwell as bacteria or fungi eat away your body tissues. Some people become nauseated, and fatigue sets in as the body becomes frail. You may notice pus flowing from the wound voluntarily or when you press the infected area. Children with osteomyelitis can experience a change in gait so much that walking or running becomes difficult.
How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?
If you are suffering from the above symptoms, it would be prudent you see a physician immediately. They will suggest getting a series of tests beginning with blood tests, bone biopsy, X-ray, MRI, and in extreme cases, they can perform a fine needle aspiration of the bone. The latter test will draw fluid from the wound, and a pathologist will test and analyze this specimen.
How can I treat osteomyelitis?
The overarching goal of treating bone infection is to eliminate bacteria or fungi causing these problems. Your bone specialist may prescribe a round of antibiotics taken through an IV fluid for four to six weeks. Metal plates inserted during surgery on the infected bone must be removed and replaced with less toxic material. In extreme scenarios, you may require surgery to remove the dead tissue, and the specialist will seal the gap with a bone graft.
Bone infection is treatable, but early detection is vital, so medical interventions can begin at the earliest opportunity to negate further problems.