This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in a bone. Signs and symptoms vary but may include bone pain, fever, chills, excessive sweating, malaise, or an open wound. People with the condition may also experience local swelling, redness, and warmth at the site of the infection. Although any bone in the body can be affected, the long bones of the arms and legs are most commonly infected in children, while the feet, spine bones, and hips are primarily affected in adults. Osteomyelitis is most often caused by a bacterial infection, although it can also be caused by a fungal infection. Risk factors for the condition include diabetes, poor blood supply, recent injury, intravenous drug abuse, surgery involving the bones, and a weakened immune system. The goal of treatment is to cure the infection and reduce damage to the bone and surrounding tissues. This may include medications to treat the infection and surgery to drain, clean and/or remove dead bone tissue.
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