Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. The infection may begin in another part of the body and spread to the bone via blood, or it may be associated with an ulceration or skin defect thru which microorganisms penetrate to the level of the bone. Traumatic injury, frequent medication injections, the use of a prosthetic device, and some surgical procedures can increase susceptibility to the underlying infection.
With osteomyelitis, the infected bone fills with a pus that deprives the bone of its needed blood supply. Over time, this can result in the death of bone tissue.
The presence of bone infection can be diagnosed with tests, such as bone scans and MRI.
Osteomyelitis infections are very difficult to cure with oral or intravenous antibiotics. In chronic cases, surgical removal of the dead bone tissue is usually required, necessitating amputation of a toe/toes, part of the foot, or the entire lower leg.