Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link
Quick Facts

Osteomyelitis

(Bone Infection)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Mar 2021| Content last modified Mar 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Get the full details

What is osteomyelitis?

"Osteo-" means bone, and "-itis" means inflammation.

Osteomyelitis is the medical term for a bone infection.

  • Bone is living tissue and can get infected like any other part of your body

  • Infection gets into a bone through your blood or from nearby infected tissue or an open wound

  • You may have pain in your bone, fever, and weight loss

  • You'll need x-rays and maybe a CT or MRI

  • You’ll need weeks of antibiotics and possibly surgery to treat osteomyelitis

With a bad infection, parts of the bone may die, which makes the infection harder to treat.

Sometimes the infection spreads out from your bone into nearby skin and muscle.

What causes osteomyelitis?

What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?

Symptoms of osteomyelitis include:

  • Fever

  • Pain in the infected bone

  • Sore, red, warm, swollen area over the infected bone

  • Weight loss and tiredness

How can doctors tell if I have osteomyelitis?

How do doctors treat osteomyelitis?

Doctors treat osteomyelitis with:

  • Antibiotics given by vein

You may need the antibiotics for 4 to 8 weeks, especially if you've had the infection a long time.

If you're very sick or there's a lot of dead bone, doctors may:

  • Do surgery to remove infected and dead bone

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
OTHER TOPICS IN THIS CHAPTER
Bone and Joint Infections
Others also read
Test your knowledge
Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance
Idiopathic environmental intolerance is defined as the development of multiple symptoms that are attributed to exposure to any number of identifiable or unidentifiable substances or exposure to electromagnetic fields. Which of the following groups is most likely to experience this type of intolerance?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP