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Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, often developing after an open fracture in which the bone pokes through the skin. It may also develop after an illness or injury that damaged the skin near or over a bone.

Symptoms may include:

  • A general feeling of illness (malaise).
  • Fever, chills, and sweating.
  • Deep bone pain.
  • Pain that is worse when pressing on the infected area or when standing.
  • Swollen and red skin (sometimes) over the affected bone.
  • Drainage of pus from the wound.

Antibiotic treatment is necessary to prevent destruction of bone tissue. If the osteomyelitis is severe, surgery may be required.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.