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Bone Infection

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Once thought to be an incurable condition, a bone infection, or osteomyelitis, can now be treated with medications and surgery. Though, this condition is still considered very serious and may, in severe cases, require the amputation of a limb to stop the infection from spreading. If you are at increased risk of infection, or if you have symptoms of a bone infection, the experts at Florida Hospital are here to help. Using our cutting-edge facilities, our staff can make a quick and efficient diagnosis of the source and extent of the infection, and devise a treatment plan to help you along the path to a full recovery. If you believe you may have a bone infection, however, the need for treatment is urgent—contact us immediately. 

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Osteomyelitis, the medical word for a bone infection, occurs when a break in the skin allows germs to spread into bone tissue or when bacteria from infections elsewhere in the body spread through the blood and infect a bone. This infection produces inflammation and swelling of bone tissue, and can have either a sudden onset, a slow and mild onset, or can become a chronic problem, depending on the source of the infection.

In children, osteomyelitis usually affects the long bones of the legs and upper arms, while in adults it is more commonly found in the vertebrae, as well as in the feet of individuals with diabetes who have foot ulcers. Individuals with weakened immune systems—e.g., people with sickle cell disease or those receiving immunosuppressive medications such as chemotherapy—are more likely to develop a bone infection.

Osteomyelitis in infants and children is usually caused by a bacterial bloodstream infection, commonly known as sepsis, that spreads to the bone. In adults, the source of the blood infection is most often (but not always) Staphylococcus aureus. This condition can also develop from a nearby infection that stems from a traumatic injury, frequent medication injections, a surgical procedure or the use of a prosthetic device.

Thought it was once considered incurable, osteomyelitis today can be successfully controlled and treated, most often with surgery to remove parts of the bone that have died, followed by a course of strong antibiotics for at least six weeks. 

Locations for Bone Infection