Osteomyelitis is an acute or chronic infection of the bone. This serious condition can occur when bacteria spread to the bone from another area of the body through the bloodstream. It may also develop after an injury. Bone infection symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause and associated conditions.
Certain individuals are more at risk for osteomyelitis than others, such as those with diabetes, recent bone injuries or poor circulation. In addition, people undergoing renal dialysis may have a greater risk of developing bone infections. If osteomyelitis is suspected, an X-ray may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Patients with an acute bone infection may experience a constant, dull pain that can increase with physical movement. The affected area may also be extra sensitive to the touch. The discomfort can be mild and last for a few weeks.
If the bone infection becomes chronic, a person may continue to feel discomfort and pain for months or even years until the condition is addressed and resolved. The pain from osteomyelitis may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, swelling and a general feeling of being unwell. 2Kremers, Hilal Maradit, et al. ‘Trends in the Epidemiology of Osteomyelitis: a Population-Based Study, 1969 to 2009.’ The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc., 20 May 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4642868/,3Momodu, Ifeanyi I. ‘Osteomyelitis.’ StatPearls /[Internet/]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 5 Feb. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532250/