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Osteomyelitis is an inflammation or swelling of bone tissue. It’s most often caused by an infection. Bone infection may occur for many reasons. It can affect children or adults.

Risk Factors

Osteomyelitis can affect anyone. But it is more common in babies, children, and older adults. People at greater risk include those with a weak immune systems, recent injury or surgery, or diabetes.


Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

The goal for treatment of osteomyelitis is to cure the infection and minimize any long-term problems. Treatment may include:

  • Medicines. You may be given IV antibiotics. This often means a hospital stay. Or you may be given antibiotics as an outpatient. In either case, treatment may last for many weeks.
  • X-rays and blood tests. Your healthcare provider will monitor your test results.
  • Pain management. You will get medicine to manage your pain.
  • Bed rest. You may need to limit movement of the affected area.

Surgery. In some cases, surgery may be needed to drain fluid, or remove damaged tissue and bone.

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