Osteomyelitis is one of the oldest infections to date. It is a rare infection of the bone which can be acute or chronic. It can affect all individuals regardless of age and affect any bone of the body. In children, osteomyelitis is usually found in long bones (i.e. tibia), while in adults it commonly affects the spine. Infants or elderly people are vulnerable to the infection, as they may not show clear symptoms, which may compromise their immune systems.
What Causes it
There have been three identified causes of osteomyelitis. First, it may be caused by trauma, surgery, or the insertion of prosthetic materials. Second, are infections in the blood that spread to the bone. Lastly, a diabetic foot infection or any other reason that results in a lack of blood flow can also cause osteomyelitis to develop. Therefore, the risk factors surrounding the infections include having diabetes or drug use that involves the use of needles or puncturing the skin.
If not treated, osteomyelitis can lead to impaired growth in children, the death of bones, and skin cancer. The advances in modern osteomyelitis can be cured with the cure rate resting at approximately 80%. When properly diagnosed, the infections can be cured without the surgical removal of any dead bones.