Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Osteomyelitis Overview

What is osteomyelitis?
A person with osteomyelitis has inflammation of a bone, caused by a bacterial infection. A staph infection is the most common cause of osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis is an uncommon infection that tends to occur most in the elderly or in children. Vertebral osteomyelitis is an infection of the bones in the spine. It occurs most commonly in adults over the age of 50. Invasive medical procedures and spine surgery increase a person's risk for vertebral osteomyelitis.

What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?
Symptoms of osteomyelitis include bone pain, bone tenderness, fever, and chills, Additional symptoms may include redness and swelling of the skin that lies over the infected bone.

How does the doctor treat osteomyelitis?
Treatment for osteomyelitis may include antibiotics, narcotic pain medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Surgery may be required to remove infected bone.

Continue to Osteomyelitis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Osteomyelitis References
  1. Bhavan KP, Kirmani N. Hematogenous vertebral osteomyelitis. Mo Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;106(4):277-82. [19753920]
  2. Guglielmo BJ, Luber AD, Paletta D Jr, Jacobs RA. Ceftriaxone therapy for staphylococcal osteomyelitis: a review. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;30(1):205-7. [10619757]
  3. Mandracchia VJ, Sanders SM, Jaeger AJ, Nickles WA. Management of osteomyelitis. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2004 Jul;21(3):335-51, vi. [15246142]
  4. Shuford JA, Steckelberg JM. Role of oral antimicrobial therapy in the management of osteomyelitis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Dec;16(6):515-9. [14624099]
  5. Steer AC, Carapetis JR. Acute hematogenous osteomyelitis in children: recognition and management. Paediatr Drugs. 2004;6(6):333-46. [15612835]
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