Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone and bone marrow. The infection is caused by the spread of bacteria by way of the blood stream. This can happen as a result of pneumonia, a skin infection, ear infection, an open fracture, or any other infection in the body.

Those at Risk:
Children in a rapid growth phase
People with chronic or open wounds
People with lowered immune resistance.

Signs and Symptoms:
Fever (sometimes the only symptom)
Warmth or redness
Tenderness at or in the area of the infected bone.
Skin abscess (without fever or pain as with a chronic infection) with draining pus
Chronic non-healing wound over the infected bone

Osteomyelitis may be diagnosed in the following ways:
Medical history
Physical exam
Blood and bone cultures
X-rays, MRI, or CAT scans

After determining the causative factors, antibiotics (IV or oral) will be prescribed. The infected bone may have to be removed surgically. The affected body part may need to be immobilized or elevated. Pain medications are often prescribed. Vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended as well as eating a nutritious diet to help the healing process.