Being diagnosed with osteomyelitis can be intimidating and confusing. Though this condition was once considered untreatable, with the induction of new medicinal understanding, doctors are able to successfully treat the infection in most cases. Osteomyelitis is a somewhat rare infection of the bone. Though this condition can be seen in any bone, it is most commonly seen in the adult spine. This is referred to as vertebral osteomyelitis. This infection is most commonly carried to the bone through the blood stream, making the condition uncommon in healthy adults.

Transmission and symptoms of osteomyelitis

The transmission of osteomyelitis may vary dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the infection. The most common route for the infection to reach the bone marrow is through the blood stream. This is commonly seen in people who have received blood fusions, or receive drugs or medication intravenously. This condition can also be spread through injury or operation. In rare cases this condition can be directly infected into the marrow.

The symptoms associated with osteomyelitis are similarly aligned with common infection-related pain and symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Pain in a localized area
  • Swelling
  • Warmth and redness
  • Weight loss
  • Circulation decrease
  • Neural compression

Treatment of osteomyelitis

After being diagnosed with osteomyelitis, most doctors will immediately begin patients on a course of antibiotics to attempt to stop the spread of the infection. After the infection is terminated, the doctor will review the impacted areas to check for remaining damage. In severe cases, patients will need to undergo surgery in order to remove the dead or damaged bone to prevent future infection or ailment.