Osteomyelitis refers to an infection of the bone or bone marrow that is associated with pain, swelling and abrupt fevers. Osteomyelitis is much more common in children and adolescents, and often implies drug abuse, infected root canal, or a joint replacement that has since turned infectious.

Osteomyelitis typically affects children's "longer bones" - femur, tibia, fibula, or humerus - and the vertebrae and pelvis of adults. Trauma to an affected area can often cause the growth of infections, as well as a joint replacement that becomes infected later on down the line.

Bone infections are usually staph infections (staphylococcus aureus), and typically affect the "longer bones," meaning the tibia, femur, humerus, vertebra, maxilla, and mandibular bones.

Treating Osteomyelitis

Treating osteomyelitis begins with an understanding of the symptoms as well as a visit to an orthopedic oncologist to get a proper diagnosis. The infected area will become painful, swollen and tender, oftentimes associated with redness and a "warm feeling." Fever often accompanies a case of acute osteomyelitis.

Symptoms of Osteomyelitis

Symptoms of osteomyelitis generally include:

  • Acute pain and a warm sensation in the infected area
  • Infected area becomes red, tender and swollen
  • Relentless back pain - no relief from traditional treatment such as analgesics, heat or rest
  • Fever
  • Fatigue or lethargy