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Osteomyelitis: Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 06, 2023

What is Osteomyelitis?

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Osteomyelitis is a term used to describe a bone infection. An infection that has migrated from nearby tissue or through the bloodstream might cause osteomyelitis. If a wound exposes the bone to bacteria, infections may potentially start in the bone itself.

Osteomyelitis is more common in smokers and persons with long-term medical disorders such as diabetes or renal failure.

summary- Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that spreads from the tissues and bloodstream.

What are the types of Osteomyelitis?

Types of osteomyelitis include::

  • Acute: This infection manifests itself suddenly. You might have symptoms like fever and pain in the infected area.
  • Chronic: An infection of the bones known as chronic osteomyelitis is unresponsive to medical intervention. It results in the persistent discharge of pus and bone pain.
  • Vertebral: It has an impact on the spine and causes chronic back discomfort that gets worse as you move.

summary- The three main types of osteomyelitis are: acute, chronic and vertebral osteomyelitis.

What are the symptoms of Osteomyelitis?

The type and aetiology of osteomyelitis affect its signs and symptoms. Some symptoms of osteomyelitis are:

  • Pus Discharge
  • Fever
  • Irritation
  • Painful and restricted movement
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lower back pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Chills

summary- The common symptoms of osteomyelitis are: fever, pain, nausea, chills, vomiting and irritation.

What are the causes of Osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis can develop due to the following conditions:

  • Hip replacement
  • Sickle cell anemia or blood infections
  • Diabetes
  • Bone implants made of metal
  • Injuries (bedsores)
  • Bone surgery
  • Weak immune system

summary- The causes of osteomyelitis are: diabetes, bone implants, fracture and blood infections.

What are the risk factors of Osteomyelitis?

The risk factors of Osteomyelitis are:

  • Orthopaedic surgery or injury
  • Circulatory problems
  • Diseases needing intravenous catheters or lines
  • Weak immune system

summary- The following conditions increase the risk of developing osteomyelitis: injury, weak immune system and circulatory disorders.

How Osteomyelitis is diagnosed?

Ways to diagnose osteomyelitis are:

  • Blood tests: A complete blood count (CBC) helps to detect the symptoms of infection and inflammation.
  • Imaging test: Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds can be used to get an image of your bones, tissues and muscles.
  • Bone scan: Bone scans help to detect infections or fractures using radioactive material.
  • Biopsy: To test for signs of infection, your doctor may perform a needle biopsy to collect samples of fluid, tissue, or bone.

summary- Osteomyelitis can be diagnosed by blood tests, X-ray, CT scan, bone scan and biopsy.

How to prevent from Osteomyelitis?

You should keep your wounds clean to avoid any kind of infection. If you detect the symptoms of infections immediately consult your doctor. However, osteomyelitis is unavoidable and cannot be prevented.

summary- There is no way to prevent osteomyelitis.

When to see a doctor for Osteomyelitis?

Consult your physician if you have the following symptoms:

  • Persistent back pain
  • Fever and yellow discharge (pus)
  • Difficulty in movement

summary- If you experience symptoms like back discomfort, fever, or discharge, you should visit your doctor.

What are the treatments of Osteomyelitis?

Following are some osteomyelitis treatments:


Antibiotics: Antibiotics get rid of the germs that make illnesses happen.

  • Antifungals: To treat fungal infections, you might need to take oral antifungal medications.
  • Aspiration: Your healthcare provider will aspirate the pus and liquid from the abscess using a tiny needle.
  • NSAIDs: These are drugs that reduce pain and inflammation.


  • Bone surgery: During bone surgery, your healthcare practitioner surgically removes contaminated tissue and bone.
  • Spine surgery: Spine surgery is necessary for those who have vertebral osteomyelitis. The purpose of this procedure is to stop vertebrae from collapsing and injuring your spinal cord, nerves, and other neurological system parts.

summary- Osteomyelitis can be treated with the help of medications and surgeries like bone surgery and spine surgery.

What is the price of Osteomyelitis treatment in India?

The price of Osteomyelitis may range from Rs 2000 to Rs 5000.

summary- The cost of osteomyelitis treatment in India is up to Rs 5000.

How long does it take to recover?

Osteomyelitis recovery takes 2 to 3 months. Early detection and treatment of disease can aid in faster recovery.

summary- You can recover from osteomyelitis within 3 months.


A bone infection called osteomyelitis is brought on by bacteria or fungus. Without treatment, swelling caused by the bone infection may stop the blood flow to your bone. It can be diagnosed with the help of blood tests and imaging tests. This bone infection can harm your bones and result in bone loss. It can be treated with the help of medicines and surgery.


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Written ByDr. Kailash Kothari MD - Anaesthesiology,MBBSOrthopaedics
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