Osteomyelitis :: Treatment n prevention of Osteomyelitis

The objective of treatment is to eliminate the infection and prevent the development of chronic infection in Osteomyelitis.

Intravenous antibiotics are started early and may later be changed depending on culture results. Some new antibiotics can be very effective when given orally.

In chronic infection, surgical removal of dead bone tissue is usually necessary. The open space left by the removed bone tissue may be filled with bone graft or by packing material to promote the growth of new bone tissue. Antibiotic therapy is continued for at least 3 weeks after surgery.

Infection of an orthopedic prosthesis may require surgical removal of the prosthesis and of the infected tissue surrounding the area. A new prosthesis may be implanted in the same operation or delayed until the infection has resolved, depending on its severity.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome is usually good with adequate treatment of acute osteomyelitis.

The prognosis is worse for chronic osteomyelitis, even with surgery. Resistant or extensive chronic osteomyelitis may result in amputation, especially in diabetics or other patients with poor blood circulation.


Chronic osteomyelitis
Local spread of infection
Reduced limb or joint function


Prompt and complete treatment of infections is helpful. High-risk people should see a health care provider promptly if they have signs of an infection anywhere in the body.

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