Bone Infection

How are our bones able to get infected? Osteomyelitis, or a bone infection, is a fairly rare condition, but it poses a serious problem for patients when it occurs. Viable treatment options and symptoms will vary depending on the infection's severity and progression. This can range from two weeks to a few months for symptoms to present themselves after the initial infection.

Catholic Health Bone Infection Osteomyelitis

Common symptoms reported by those with a bone infection may include: 

  • redness, tenderness, or swelling of the infected area
  • pain stemming from the infected area
  • loss in range of motion
  • fever or chills
  • fatigue
  • drainage through the skin

How Do You Get a Bone Infection?

Sometimes, an infection in one part of the body is able to spread into the bone through the bloodstream. As is the case with most infections, any condition that weakens the immune system may increase an individual's risk for osteomyelitis.

In some cases, open fractures and surgery wounds can be a threat to patients, as they may expose a bone to infection.

For patients living with diabetes, bone infection is a common complication of diabetic foot ulcers and infections. Diabetes causes poor circulation in its patients, especially to the feet and legs. Several diabetic symptoms unfortunately feed off of one another when it comes to infections – this condition makes it difficult to manage blood glucose levels, which impairs the ability of white blood cells to fight infection.

Treatment Options

The standard treatment response for bone infection would be tissue debridement and prescription of antibiotics. However, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is now used as a successful means of both improvement and intervention for patients with osteomyelitis, caused by both diabetic and tissue infection.