Doc Talk | Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a disease that ends up in the bone after traveling through the bloodstream.

"It's pain, redness, swelling up in the bone or the area involved," said Dr. Michael Werner, an orthopedic surgeon at Geisinger Holy Spirit.

Someone with osteomyelitis may have those symptoms.

"The acute sudden onset within 14 days is usually caused by the spread of a blood infection," explained Dr. Werner. But, chronic osteomyelitis is different.

"That's caused by either an open fracture with bones that poke through the skin," said Dr. Werner.

As for causes, it could range from germs that entered the bloodstream through some type of infection, or as noted, an injury that leads to a puncture in the skin. The treatment usually calls for antibiotics and sometimes surgery.

"You have to treat those people more with more aggressive longer IV antibiotics maybe more than one antibiotic," said Dr. Werner.

In recent years, oxygen therapy has been used for various conditions.

"Those people are great candidates for hyperbaric oxygen which is oxygen under pressure," explained Dr. Werner.

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