The definition of the disease called osteomyelitis is an infection of bone. There are two sources of this disease. One would be an infection that occurs in the vicinity of the infected bone that directly affects the underlying tissues that come into contact with that bone. Second, a bone infection may be the result of an underlying infection that arises in another part of the body. The infectious process is transported to a different, often far-flung site, via the body’s vascular system. An example would be an infection in the mouth after a dental procedure causes symptoms in the lower extremity. In any case, the resultant bone infection is often treated with the appropriate antibiotics either by ingestion or by intravenous infusion.
Early detection is optimum so that the bacterial agent that is the causative factor can be identified and rapidly treated. Sophisticated radiological techniques such as bone scans and MRI’s can detect changes in a diseased bone. At times, actual bone specimens are obtained in order to identify the bacterial organism that is causing the infection.
After proper evaluation, a treatment plan is devised. As mentioned, it may include the appropriate medication (i.e.) antibiotics. However, it may also include surgical intervention in order to remove the diseased bone. This is determined by our highly qualified and experienced surgeons in conjunction with members of the Medical Staff of our member Hospitals.
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