Frequent question: How long can you have chronic osteomyelitis?

Can you have osteomyelitis for years?

With treatment, the outcome for acute osteomyelitis is often good. The outlook is worse for those with long-term (chronic) osteomyelitis. Symptoms may come and go for years, even with surgery. Amputation may be needed, especially in people with diabetes or poor blood circulation.

Can you have osteomyelitis for years and not know it?

Osteomyelitis could present as a silent chronic form persisting for many years without clinical symptoms. Diagnosis could be difficult; biopsies are necessary; negative growth of micro-organisms in culture does not exclude osteomyelitis as a diagnosis.

How long can you have osteomyelitis?

If you have a severe infection, the course may last up to 12 weeks. It’s important to finish a course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better. If the infection is treated quickly (within 3 to 5 days of it starting), it often clears up completely. You can take painkillers to ease the pain.

How long does chronic osteomyelitis take to develop?

In chronic osteomyelitis, infection starts at least 2 months after an injury, initial infection, or the start of an underlying disease.

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What happens if osteomyelitis is untreated?

Osteomyelitis is a bacterial, or fungal, infection of the bone. Osteomyelitis affects about 2 out of every 10,000 people. If left untreated, the infection can become chronic and cause a loss of blood supply to the affected bone. When this happens, it can lead to the eventual death of the bone tissue.

Can osteomyelitis cause nerve damage?

Patients with chronic osteomyelitis may report bone pain, tenderness, and draining abscesses around infected bone for long periods of time (months to years). Rarely, vertebral osteomyelitis may affect the nerves in the spine. If the infection travels into the spinal canal, this can result in an epidural abscess.

What bone is the most common site of osteomyelitis?

Among children and teens, the long bones of the legs and arms are most frequently affected. In adults, osteomyelitis most often affects the vertebrae of the spine and/or the hips. However, extremities are frequently involved due to skin wounds, trauma and surgeries.

What are the complications of osteomyelitis?

Some of the complications of osteomyelitis include:

  • Bone abscess (pocket of pus)
  • Bone necrosis (bone death)
  • Spread of infection.
  • Inflammation of soft tissue (cellulitis)
  • Blood poisoning (septicaemia)
  • Chronic infection that doesn’t respond well to treatment.

Can osteomyelitis lead to sepsis?

An infection of the bone, called osteomyelitis, could lead to sepsis. In people who are hospitalized, bacteria may enter through IV lines, surgical wounds, urinary catheters, and bed sores.

Is osteomyelitis a medical emergency?

In some cases, osteomyelitis can be a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Osteomyelitis may spread to the bloodstream and lead to a widespread infection.

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What should you do if osteomyelitis is suspected?

Depending on the severity of the infection, osteomyelitis surgery may include one or more of the following procedures: Drain the infected area. Opening up the area around your infected bone allows your surgeon to drain any pus or fluid that has accumulated in response to the infection. Remove diseased bone and tissue.

How fast does osteomyelitis spread?

Acute osteomyelitis develops rapidly over a period of seven to 10 days. The symptoms for acute and chronic osteomyelitis are very similar and include: Fever, irritability, fatigue.

Is osteomyelitis chronic or acute?

Acute osteomyelitis is the clinical term for a new infection in bone. This infection occurs predominantly in children and is often seeded hematogenously. In adults, osteomyelitis is usually a subacute or chronic infection that develops secondary to an open injury to bone and surrounding soft tissue.

What is the treatment for chronic osteomyelitis?

Chronic osteomyelitis is generally treated with antibiotics and surgical debridement but can persist intermittently for years with frequent therapeutic failure or relapse. Despite advances in both antibiotic and surgical treatment, the long‐term recurrence rate remains around 20%.