Medical Definition of Osteomyelitis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Osteomyelitis: Inflammation of the bone due to infection, for example, by the bacteria salmonella or staphylococcus. Osteomyelitis is sometimes a complication of surgery or injury, although infection can also reach bone tissue through the bloodstream. Both the bone and the bone marrow may be infected. Symptoms include deep pain and muscle spasms in the area of inflammation, as well as fever. Treatment includes bed rest, use of antibiotics, and sometimes surgery to remove dead bone tissue.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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