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What is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is infection in the bone. Osteomyelitis can occur in infants, children, and adults. Different types of bacteria typically affect the different age groups. In children, osteomyelitis most commonly occurs at the ends of the long bones of the arms and legs, affecting the hips, knees, shoulders, and wrists. In adults, it is more common in the bones of the spine (vertebrae), feet, or in the pelvis.

Return to Osteomyelitis

See what others are saying

Comment from: Patti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

I am or was a healthy person. Two years ago, I woke up to my right foot red and swollen. I was given an antibiotic. Four months later, I was rushed to the emergency room and then flown to a CDC hospital where I was diagnosed with osteomyelitis. It had settled in my femur and traveled up across my pelvis. I had 2 lesions drained and scraped. I was in so much pain. Never before have I experienced this kind of pain. I could not move my lower half. After 3 months on strong antibiotics, I was able to move around. However the infection is not gone. Some days the pain is so bad that I cannot move.

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Comment from: ShaZ4071 , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I've been told that my osteomyelitis is so bad I have no chance of recovery and all they can do is keep me comfortable until the day I go. I'm now in a hospice and the doctors stopped the antibiotics 3 or 4 days ago saying I have weeks or days left. I'm 46 years young and been paraplegic since 2003, my 1st bout of pressure sores occurred in 2011 which were grafted, etc. Things were good till Christmas 2014 when my skin started to break down and sores appeared again. I'm now on the bare bones of my seating area with no genitalia to speak of and I'm not scared of dying, I would just like to know how poorly I am going to get!

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Comment from: ivona, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I developed osteomyelitis in 1941 when I was 2. It was not cured until 10 years and more than 16 major operations later, finally till I was operated twice on my right femur and it was cured. As a result I have horrific scarring and one leg longer than the other. However since that final operation (aged 12) I have had no further need for treatment at all. I was lucky, some did not survive it. Nowadays this would not happen, thanks to treatments and drugs and expertise which were not available in the 2nd world war.

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