Bone infections such as osteomyelitis are a serious health issue which can have life-changing ramifications. Children who suffer from bone infections could find that the growth of that bone is stunted for life. Adults who suffer from osteomyelitis could be left at risk of long term health issues.
If the infection spreads to the joint, then the infection could lead to arthritis in the joint. Arthritis is a painful and life-limiting condition. If the infection leads to an open wound in the skin that is leaking pus, then that area of skin could be left at increased risk of skin cancer, which could be fatal.
If the infection is allowed to take hold and damage the bone, then it could lead to bone death – which means that the patient could need to have a portion of the bone removed. If the amount of bone needing removed is substantial, then it may be that amputation of the limb is recommended instead.
It has only been in relatively recent history that osteomyelitis has been considered to be a treatable condition. Historically, doctors would have taken a ‘watch and see’ approach and if the infection did not subside quickly then amputation would have been the only option.
It is not easy to diagnose osteomyelitis. Indeed, the nebulous symptoms (aches and pains, fever or chills, and redness or swelling) are easy to mistake for other conditions. When the condition is caught, however, it is important that doctors treat it promptly. These treatments can include intravenous treatments and in some cases, even surgical procedures.
People who have diabetes are at increased risk of osteomyelitis in the extremities. Often, diabetics develop foot ulcers which can then lead to infection spreading to the bone. If this happens then the reduced circulation in their extremities could lead to the infection becoming serious enough that amputation is required.
If you have just had surgery, have a suppressed immune system, or have suffered a bone injury, then it is important that you are proactive about avoiding and preventing infections, and that you seek medical advice immediately if you have reason to believe that you may be suffering from an infection. Do not put off seeking advice on the hopes that you will get better quickly, because infections can take hold rapidly and spread throughout the body. Bone infections can be cured now, which means that they are nothing to fear but you should still respect them. If you suspect that you might have a bone infection then seek out medical advice immediately.
If you are diagnosed with osteomyelitis and are looking for treatment to help with your symptoms, then Ontario HBOT are here to help you. The 100% oxygen system that our systems provide you with help to increase oxygen levels in your body to promote healing. Our HBOT system is beneficial as it promotes osteoclast function. Our expert technicians are there to help you with your hyperbaric oxygen therapy and to help you recover as best as you can.