Patient Comments: Osteomyelitis - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms of your osteomyelitis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: troutbum1947, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I had an IV installed on my wrist for installing a stent. A large edema was seen at the IV site and removed. My wrist and 3 fingers would burn very painfully. The doctors said it would just go away. I have endured tremendous pain in wrist and fingers for 6 months .Doctors said I had gout. I finally went to an acupuncture guy who finally got the problem diagnosed as osteomyelitis and stopped my pain.

Comment from: lizzzzz, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 01

My dad underwent knee replacement surgery in December 2014. At some point during the days following surgery, 2 staples came lose and a few days later those staples were removed. As a result of that, the incision began separating. He was sent home from sub-acute rehabilitation after 6 days with a leg stabilizer from heel to hip. Two days later the stabilizer was taken off and my mother was tasked by the orthopedist to care for the wound. It continued to separate, all the while my dad went to outpatient physiotherapy (PT) and 4 post operation office visits with the orthopedist. On the 4th visit, he complained of leg pain in the non-surgery leg as well as back pain. The orthopedist explained this away of my dad sitting too much. No blood work was ever taken during the post operation visits. We fought to finally get a wound care nurse in and home PT. The morning that was set to start, he ended up going to the emergency room. He spent 11 weeks in the ICU, 6 weeks in acute rehab, and 2 months in sub-acute rehab for his osteomyelitis treatment. He's been home since July 2015. The neurosurgeon flushed out abscesses in his spine and removed the infected bone. He said he'd be walking in 7 months. As of today, he still cannot transfer, stand or walk. He also went through kidney failure, respiratory failure, blood clots and many other life battles. Amazing that he made it and we are fortunate but losing hope that he will ever be able to walk.

Comment from: JO, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

My husband was misdiagnosed with Pick's disease a year ago. I was concerned about him since his sister was in end-stage Alzheimer's disease, and died from it this year. Our physician only sent us to a psychology group who specializes in Alzheimer's disease. After only a three hour interview with a guy with an MS degree, they diagnosed him with Pick's Disease. No other testing, and most of the questions they asked me were misinterpreted on the evaluation. After conferring with his other physicians who have known him for 20 plus years, as well as a trusted psychologist, I was advised to throw away the report of Pick's Disease and seek a malpractice lawsuit. Be sure to get all the answers before some guy tells you to start looking for nursing homes like they told me.

Comment from: Carol, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I went back to statins after having problems the first time my doctor put me on simvastatin. I was off it for a year and after a cholesterol check my numbers were high so my doctor decided to try pravastatin 10 mg. After a few days on it I developed muscle and joint pains. My doctor took me off it again. It has been one week since I stopped and I am still miserable. My fingers hurt so badly and my back aches. I have sent away for red yeast rice which lowered my cholesterol years ago. It has co-enzyme Q10 in it. I will try that next. Never again will I take a statin!

Comment from: Steph, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I was diagnosed with osteomyelitis when I was 9 years old. I first noticed that one side of my collar bone was very swollen and tender to touch. After going to the doctors and then to the hospital (who all at first had thought I had broken it) I was finally referred to a specialist. I had antibiotics, which did not touch it. I also had a biopsy, and then surgery to remove a window of bone and scrape some of the crystalized infection away. It is now 6 years after this operation and I still get excruciating pain every so often for a few weeks (this is normally when the weather changes dramatically in temperature).

Comment from: maggiewitt, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

I am confused. The diagnosis of the lab states, skin with ulceration overlying bone with acute osteomyelitis. Skin and soft tissues resection margins show dermal scar and inflammation. Osteomyelitis not seen at proximal resection margin.

Comment from: Ash, 35-44 (Patient) Published: May 15

I was diagnosed at 10 years of age with osteomyelitis in my right ankle. After 2 weeks of going backwards and forwards to the doctors with a temperature, vomiting and a sickeningly painful ankle and constantly being told it was inflammation from a virus and to take aspirin, a different doctor had an idea what it might be. I was sent for a blood test immediately and had an emergency operation the same day to remove the infected bone marrow. I spent 2 weeks in isolation, 3 weeks in children's ward and a further 8 months on crutches. I am 41 now and have had no problems since.

Comment from: Cutie pie, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 05

I am nine years old. I started having pain in my back left hip/pelvic area during gymnastics. So I had to stop. But for several months I still had pain, but not really bad. I still ran around and played normal. But in about 4 months I began having fevers, every day. They would go up to 104, I would have chills and then sweat like crazy. Also I was very tired and could not play. I lost weight. This went on for 4 weeks. My pediatrician did tons of blood tests, but everything came back normal except my CRP level was high. Finally I got sent to children's hospital for infectious disease. They figured everything out, and now I'm on medications for osteomyelitis through a PICC line for 6 weeks.

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Comment from: Bj, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

My story goes like this: I broke my ankle in 3 places in October. By March the following year I knew that they were going to have to do surgery to remove all the hardware they had put in. I had an infection in one incision a week after the first surgery. In May I had my second surgery. Within 3 weeks I had another infection in the same incision that the first one was in. Now six weeks after the second surgery I still have 2 holes in my leg and severe pain. I went to my family doctor who ordered a bone scan. Bone scan showed an infection. I am currently waiting to find out what treatment I am going to get. The pain and severe burning sensations and the stiffness and swelling make walking even 2 feet almost unbearable. I hate taking pain medications and am taking narcotics on a regular basis. My ankle looks deformed and is discolored. I am just frustrated that the orthopedic doc didn't even consider a bone infection/osteomyelitis.

Comment from: Lola, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I am a healthy 49 year old female. No chronic illnesses and no history of infection. I woke up one morning and thought I broke my foot in my sleep. I had just pain the 1st day. The next day I had redness and some swelling at the base of my last 2 toes. The swelling and pain progressed and by the 4th day I could not wear shoes and could barely walk on the foot. On the 5th day I could not lower foot below horizontal without severe throbbing pain and could not bear weight. I had lab tests and everything was normal, had an x-ray and everything was normal except for soft tissue swelling. Bone scan finally diagnosed the osteomyelitis. I am on oral antibiotics for 3 weeks so far, probably another 3 weeks to go. Swelling and redness have greatly reduced, pain is now a dull throbbing pain in that foot.

Comment from: Cracker, 65-74 (Patient) Published: May 22

I am 65 years old and was diagnosed with osteomyelitis of the right heel. I remember the pain, for a while I walked on the ball of my foot until being bedridden for several weeks till I was placed in hospital where a piece of bone was removed from the lower part of my heel. After several months recuperating and physiotherapy, I was ok. The only ongoing problem I had was walking with the heel of my right shoe down, eventually my dad reinforced my shoes. Today with the advent of joggers and high sided shoes I have no problems.

Comment from: betty, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 20

I"m 61 years old and when I was 9 years old I had the most excruciating pain in my right leg. I had a hard time walking for 3 days, on the 4th day I couldn"t walk at all. I had a fever and was crying with so much pain. My parents took me to the hospital for sick children. The doctor did a spinal tap and full checkup. I was then diagnosed with osteomyelitis. I spent two weeks in isolation and was given a shot of penicillin every 4 hours. I was then moved to a regular floor for another 2 weeks and was given penicillin intravenously. I was sent home after one month, then spent an additional month at home. I was walking with no problem after the first two weeks at home. I was totally fine after that and have never had problems with osteomyelitis again.

Comment from: Katman0, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 02

I was a paramedic and I felt odd physically and months later I was mentally confused. This went on for over 18 months and was progressive with time. My friends, family and workmates were concerned and some of them thought I was drinking or doing drugs or both. I had periods of leg pain, sweats and chills, even night terrors. My family did an "intervention" and I was admitted to the hospital, where I was detoxed and diagnosed with a psychotic break by a shrink. At this point things got worse when I went home and I had to pay a nurse to take care of me for months. I was admitted to two other hospitals and I now was told I had cancer, heart problems some kind of infection which did not show elevated white blood cells. I woke up one morning and was in unbelievable pain in my left leg hip down and I could not walk, had temperature 104 and I had lost 70lbs from 220 to 150 in 6 months. I was told to put my affairs in order and go into rehabilitation. The rehab doctor called it in 6 hours, osteomyelitis, an odd sterile type. I was put on IV antibiotics for 12 weeks. I was in the hospital for 29 days, and the doctors and nurses didn't think I was going to live, or walk or I was not going to be all there if I made it through this at all. That was 7 years ago and I am disabled with a lumbar spine that hurts to even sit. This disease wrecked me and is chronic as this is progressive with age, I am now 55. I had septicemia and it took 4.5 years to get federal assistance.

Comment from: Liv R, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I have pan hypopituitarism and on replacement steroids and other medications. I was diagnosed with a suprasellar germ cell tumor in 2007. I had surgery and radiation to head and spine then. I am visually impaired as a result of tumor crushing the optic nerves. I have had a series of bouts of pneumonia since 2012 which required hospitalization. Septicemia in 2013 required 3 weeks in intensive care. Now I have been diagnosed with osteomyelitis in front sinus bone. Symptoms were initially sinusitis which reoccurred a month later, and treated with antibiotics. Then more symptoms, which caused swelling around the right eye and forehead. I had MRI recently which revealed infection so then I had an operation through my nose for this. I am now on intravenous antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks, then oral antibiotics.

Comment from: theteacher124, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I am a 69 year old female. On March 15, 2015 I noticed a small place on the 2nd toe next to the big toe on my left foot. I went to the doctor on March 28, 2015 and he placed me on an antibiotic. After two weeks it had gotten worse so I went back to the doctor on April 10 and was immediately sent to a wound care specialist. Then I was sent on to the hospital. The MRI showed I had osteomyelitis. On April 15, my toe was cut off in order for the infection not to go any further. All through the ordeal I felt no pain. Because of diabetic neuropathy, my feet have no feeling.

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Comment from: Louisiana Dave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I have osteomyelitis in the end of my index toe. Bone showed. Toe has been very red for a month and I've been through 3 different antibiotics over that period of time including multiple Rocephin injections. I have peripheral neuropathy (20 years) but I'm definitely not diabetic.

Comment from: 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I can guarantee that you will NOT be able to walk if you have Osteomyelitis. 'Severe' pain doesn't even begin to cover the pain I felt when I had osteomyelitis in my femur 10 years ago. I couldn't move any part of my lower body, I was placed in a bed, and when someone would try to pick me up, touch me, move me, I would scream out in agony and a couple times actually blacked out. The doctors had to go into surgery that night because I would've died that night otherwise. It feels nothing like an annoying pain. It's the most intense pain I have ever felt.

Comment from: libradiva, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I was diagnosed with osteomyelitis when I was fourteen years old. The first symptoms I noticed were pain and swelling in my left ankle. The pain was so severe I couldn't even walk let alone stand on my own two feet. I missed a lot of school because of it and every time I went to the doctor he would tell me I had a sprained ankle. He would wrap my ankle in an ace bandage, prescribe me with pain killers, tell me to keep a heating pad on it and send me on my way. This went on for a year and a half. Until I met the best orthopedic doctor in the universe. He injected me with a blue dye that went through my entire body to show where the infection would be and then I took an MRI. When the screen lit up with a blue patch, we knew. I had two biopsies and the bone was removed. I haven't had a problem since.

Comment from: caleysue, 45-54 Female Published: February 08

I am a 47 year old female and have had pelvic and pain below my rib this is all on my right side. Pain is worse when I walk and lay down, and sometimes if I sit on a hard chair. When I lay down it makes my back hurt and when I get up I am very stiff I have to roll out of the bed sometimes.

Comment from: walkbyfaith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 14

I am a 48 year old female with Lupus. I was diagnosed over 20 years ago. For the past 4-5 years I have developed other illnesses stemming from the Lupus, Osteomyelitis being one of them. I suffer from Raynaud's which is a medical condition where I have very poor blood circulation to my extremities. I do not do well in cold climates or environments and have developed ulcers on the tips of most of my fingers. I am now at risk of multiple amputations of several of my fingers. The pain of this is so bad there are times that I've considered self-amputation or worse, ending my suffering.

Comment from: CurleyRed, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24

I was told in 1993 that I had Osteomyelitis. I have lost 7 toes and most of the bone in right foot. I have the little toe on right foot and the little toe and the one next to it on left. Also a doctor talked me into having a knee replacement on right knee and the osteomyelitis and MRSA attacked the knee and for a year. I was bed bound, I am now in wheel chair. I have 3 things that tell me when ostemyelitis is working on my bones it is bad headache, high temp., and blood sugar is very high. I was told the ostemyelitis doesn't like anything that isn't the original part of the body. The doc broke my femur in doing knee replacement if it attacks the wires and screw in the femur. I will probably lose my leg from the hip down. It is a very hard and cruel disease. I hope maybe this info will help someone thanks for your time.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I received a staph infection in a doctor's office after having fluid removed from my knee and antibiotics placed in my knee. The doctor went on vacation for two weeks. I tried everybody; I could not get any help. Three weeks later, I went to the emergency room and had surgery performed on the knee. I was put on antibiotics in the hospital. I was in a lot of pain. I was released with home-care antibiotics. Then the doctor said the knee was out of place and put me back in the hospital, which put the knee back in unreal pain. I spent thousands of dollars on rehab. I had unreal pain and swelling. No one would listen to me. Finally, months later, I had an MRI that showed I have osteomyelitis. I will see the doctor again in two days. I still have swelling; it has never gone down much. The pain is still there, and I am very frustrated.

Comment from: cohe2005, 35-44 Male Published: August 01

I have heard of diabetics getting osteomyelitis, but my case is a little different,i am 42 years old and have had diabetes for almost 20 years. I have heard that I am more prone to osteomyelitis, but my twist is I had the osteo thingy when I was under 3 years old, i was born in hong kong in 1971 and apparently got an infection which caused this osteo thing. I spent 11 months in gobowen hospital and had apparently 32 operations on my left leg, very very big scars scars to show. Does diabetes stem from osteomyeliyis or is it just diabetes to osteomyelitis?

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Comment from: VSLG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 13

It was definitely the most intense pain I ever experienced. The pain began after I received an epidural injection, that was tainted by the physician administering it, to relieve pain from degenerative disc disease and herniated discs. Instead of relieving me from having to take pain medications, it worsened my condition by causing a bone infection (osteomyelitis) in my sciatic nerve area. I could barely move, much less walk. The doctors in the ER thought I was crazy or a drug seeker because they couldn't diagnose the problem. I went to a teaching hospital that was able to diagnose my problem. I was hospitalized for four weeks and then sent home on IV antibiotics for an additional four weeks. My SED rate was very high, and if I hadn't been diagnosed when I was, I would have died. Years later, I still suffer with constant pain. It's not nearly as bad as it was, but I continue to be treated with narcotic pain medications.

Comment from: Ali, 7-12 Male (Patient) Published: May 01

I am a 12-year-old kid with osteomyelitis in the C3 area of my neck. I have had 60 shots of antibiotics, and when I do, I sleep with the cannula for three days, and then switch it to another. I had seven MRIs, 16 blood tests, four X-rays, and a biopsy. I still have the pain – it is very irritating.

Comment from: Pccstudent, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 01

I developed osteomyelitis after a posterior cervical fusion. My fusion was done on in November of 2012 and we did not discover the infection until the end of January 2013. I awoke one morning with the bandage that covered my incision soaked with pus, and my pillow was also soaked in pus. I had two debridements (the doctor took a piece of my vertebrae and sent it to the lab, which confirmed my diagnosis. I spent seven weeks getting wound care and IV antibiotics. I have a huge "divit" on the back of my neck. I still have all the symptoms of chronic osteomyelitis (severe leg and pelvis pain, pain and swelling at the wound site, nausea and malaise). I am scheduled for a myelogram to see if the cause of my pain can be determined. The doctor wants me to stay on Keflex for a year, and then take the metal out. I do not like this plan. I do wonder if the time from when I got the infection and before treatment was started is considered a long time. I can say that my doctors are not very responsive. I can't walk with my head up and I have no stamina. This must get better.

Comment from: robbie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I fractured two parts of my foot. I had surgery with a pin placed. The swelling continued for months, and my skin felt so tight that I thought my foot was going to burst.

Comment from: Nn john, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 05

After being back and forth in the hospital for the past 20 years, my 53-year-old father was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in the past year. In our country, medical procedures are very expensive and are government subsidized. He has excruciating pains in his left leg and has also been to the ER numerous times. He has been treated with so much antibiotics over the last five years that he has lost count. Now, he is being told that they want to amputate his leg. There are other options, but the doctors insist on cutting off his leg and he refuses. We are now in the process of seeking other advice and other methods of treatment. This is stressing us out. We need solutions.

Comment from: real life.., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 12

Over the years that I have dealt with osteomyelitis I have lost hip bones, a half of a foot, have had bed sores, back pain and have had most every other symptom of this disease. But life goes on.

Comment from: Pete, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 12

My husband put in 4 miserable months and lost 20 lbs. before the doctors diagnosed osteomyelitis of his pelvic bone. He even developed blood clots in his leg and lungs. He spent 2 weeks in the hospital, 2 weeks in a nursing home and had 8 weeks of intravenous antiobiotics. It has now been one year and it's back. All this came from numerous urine infections. The future looks rather grim and the doctors just don't seem to have any answers.

Comment from: liam, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: February 25

If you get severe pain with no bruising, swelling and not done anything to cause a pulled muscle. Go to the hospital! Your doctor will just say "pulled muscle" like with me. In hospital I tried getting on to a bed and went in so much pain I went into shock and had to be dosed with morphine, tramadol and codeine at the same time and was still in severe pain. So take my advice, if in doubt go to the hospital. The earlier you get treated the less pain you will have to go through. Each day gets more painful untreated.

Comment from: MBeggin, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 15

Two years ago I got systemic MRSA at age 68. At the same time I had the worst hip pain and could not bear weight on the hip. I got well from the systemic MRSA but it had infected my hip. The pain was excruciating when I moved it. One evening I was paralyzed with pain and taken to the ER. The next time I could not bear another day of pain so I went to the ER. They gave me pain meds, morphine and even the Dilaudid box and it all felt like water. So the doctor took out the neck and head of my femur, washed the hip out and the pain was gone. Now the doctor does not want to do a hip replacement for fear of causing MRSA again or have a hip that does not heal. So I will be in this wheelchair for a long time.

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Comment from: Heather, 7-12 Female Published: December 07

I had osteomyelitis in my ankle in 1949 when antibiotics (penicillin) was just being trialed in Australia, I spent 12 months in the children's hospital and had two operations. Finally I spent another three months in aftercare. Now at 71 have arthritis in my ankle. Panadol Osteo helps.

Comment from: tpileggi, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 17

I had my knee replaced two years ago. I had continuous pain and stiffness, after three surgeons later, finally had a bone scan done. Moderate increased perfusion, tibia, moderate increased intake during blood pool, diffuse increased uptake, minimal increase of activity. This suggests soft tissue inflammation/infection, loosening or infection cannot be ruled out. Any thoughts, suggestions? Again, I have severe daily pain, it is stiff and locks up, pain down front of leg, up thigh, just overall feeling poorly!

Comment from: 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 27

My 8 year old son has recently been diagnosed with osteomyelitis. His symptoms began suddenly and included pain in his right thigh, fever, nausea and lethargy. Blood cultures taken in hospital showed infection caused by staphylococcus aureus and a bone scan subsequently confirmed osteomyelitis. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics for a period of 7 days. He is now recovering well at home on oral antibiotics.

Comment from: 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 25

My son contracted osteomyelitis at the age of nine in 2008. His symptom was excruciating pain in his lower back. Unfortunately, he was sent home from the hospital twice and almost a third time due to misdiagnosis as the lesions in his sacrum which were causing the pain were not visible to the naked eye nor through X-rays. It was only when his fever spiked on the fifth day (which coincided with his third trip to a children's hospital) that he got the attention he deserved and then the proper steps were taken in the diagnosis i.e. blood test which tested positive for the bacteria followed by an MRI scan which showed the lesions.

Comment from: warvet, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 10

I damaged the muscles around my right hip and had acupuncture. The next day, I presented at the emergency department of my hospital with redness, swelling, and pain in the hip. Because it was over prosthesis, I was very concerned. Four doctors and an ultrasound confirmed infection (cellulitis) but it took them 21 hours to administer antibiotics. Four days later, I was released on oral antibiotics. An abscess formed. I was operated on 14 days after first presenting at the hospital and the abscess flushed and tested. Two days later, the prosthesis was removed because it was infected. It is now confirmed that I have osteomyelitis around a remaining steel rod and screw and am on 24-hour antibiotics for six weeks with the possibility of surgery down the road.

Comment from: Starfire, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 29

I had osteomyelitis in my femur bone it was excruciating! I let it pass and just worked with it going to different doctors getting misdiagnosis. It finally hit big time and I thought I was going to die. The pain was like nothing could help me. Thank goodness for these nurses who invented all these contraptions to move you. Just to move me off the bed was an ordeal. It's been 2 years since my five surgeries to fix my leg and I still have pain.

Comment from: chris, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 11

My husband had surgery 3 weeks ago on a shattered collar bone which resulted in him having a metal plate fitted since then he has suffered tremendous bone and muscle pain to the point where he can on pick anything up he cannot walk on his feet his elbow hurt his wrist hurts his knee keeps swelling up the pain has reduced him to tears he's cold all the time and his hands shake his hip has also suffered the pain and he sleeps a lot more than he use to. His physiotherapist diagnosed spasmodic muscular reaction but I am so worried its more than that.

Comment from: jender, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I am 70 years old and for the past month or so have had terrible aching bones throughout my body, but mostly on my left shoulder and arm and hips, and am very tired all the time I am also quite depressed. Have a mole on the side of my neck which is slightly itchy and has changed shape and is getting a little larger. My body has suddenly started aging very quickly too. I weigh 58 kgs but have quite a fat stomach; also my back is starting to round. Have I got osteomyelitis.

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