What is bone infection?
Infection is invasion of the body with organisms that have the potential to cause disease. Bone infection occurs when bacteria invade bone, either through the bloodstream or by contact with the outside environment. The bacteria eat away at the bone and damage the local blood supply to that bone, consequently preventing antibiotics from reaching the bacteria.
What are the common symptoms of bone infection?
Infection often causes redness, swelling, and pain in the affected limb. Sometimes, fluid exits through the skin. This is called a draining sinus tract. Occasionally, the infection weakens the bone so much that the bone breaks.
What are the types of bone infection?
Infection has several stages, from mild to severe.
Mild¾Mild infection does not weaken the structural integrity of the bone and allows safe use of the bone for weight bearing.
Severe¾Severe infection eats away at the structural integrity of the bone. When the bone loses its structural integrity, it cannot support weight and will likely break. This can be extremely painful.
Radiograph showsmild bone infection. It is important to maintain intrinsic stability with antibiotic bead treatment
Images from the case of a 22-year-old patient with Gaucher disease and osteomyelitis of the femur. Treatment consisted of resection and compression. Radiograph on right shows healed, noninfected bone.