Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone and surrounding tissues. It’s one of the oldest diseases, if not the oldest. It’s caused by bacteria infection of the bone. This is as a result of “staphylococcus aureus” and other bacteria which enters the body through open wounds. And finds it’s way to the bones through the bloodstream. The “bacteria” travel  through infected tissues of the body and damages the microbial pathogens using leukocytes. And the process releases enzymes, which leads to the lose of the bone tissues. This reaction results in a pus formation.

Quick Facts
  • Characterized by bone infection.
  • Any age group can be affected.
  • Treatment includes surgeries, antibiotics and splinting.
  • Can invade infants, children and even adults.
  • In children it affects long bones of arms and legs, hips, knees, shoulders and wrists.
  • In adults it affects spine bones, feet and pelvis.
  • If the infection stays for long it can cause death of bone tissues.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove dead bone tissue.
  • Bone biopsy, bone scan, bone X-ray, CBC, CRP, bone MRI, needle aspiration of the affected areas are some of the tests that help diagnose Osteomyelitis.

These are some of the typical bones that are affected by osteomyelitis:

  • Tibia
  • Femur
  • Humerus
  • Vertebra
  • The maxilla

Often, the original site of infection is elsewhere in the body, and spreads to the bone by the blood. Bacteria or fungus may sometimes be responsible for osteomyelitis.

Risk Factors

Few risk factors that may lead to Osteomyelitis are:

  • Poor blood supply
  • Weak immune system
  • Long-term use of steroids
  • Illegal drugs injected intravenously
  • Diabetic foot ulcers.

There are several ways that can cause Oseteomyelitis, these includes:

  • Travelling of bacteria through the bloodstream and spreading to the bone causing an infection
  • Infection anywhere on the body
  • Bacteria acting on an open wound
  • Fundamental peripheral vascular disease…
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Open fracture
  • A recent surgery or injection around a bone
  • Weak immune system due to medications
  • Chronic steroid use
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Intravenous drug users
  • Poor blood supply
  • Use of illegal injected drugs.


Most common are:

  • Constant pain in the affected bone
  • Consistent fever for days
  • General discomfort
  • Swelling and redness
  • Various sessions of chills in a particular day
  • Excessive sweating
  • Low back pain
  • Swelling of the ankles, feet, and legs
  • Vascular disease
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Difficulty bearing weight

Osteomyelitis can be extremely serious and complex to treat, leading to constant disease and disability. However, is therefore important to see your doctor when ever you spot any of the symptoms.