John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Osteomyelitis facts
- What is osteomyelitis?
- What causes osteomyelitis?
- What are osteomyelitis symptoms and signs?
- How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for osteomyelitis?
- What is the prognosis for osteomyelitis?
What is the treatment for osteomyelitis?
In many cases, osteomyelitis can be effectively treated with antibiotics and pain medications. If a biopsy is obtained, this can help guide the choice of the best antibiotic. The duration of treatment of osteomyelitis with antibiotics is usually four to eight weeks but varies with the type of infection and the response to the treatments. In some cases, the affected area will be immobilized with a brace to reduce the pain and speed the treatment.
Sometimes, surgery may be necessary. If there is an area of localized bacteria (abscess), this may need to be opened, washed out, and drained. If there is damaged soft tissue or bone, this may need to be removed. If bone needs to be removed, it may need to be replaced with bone graft or stabilized during surgery.
What is the prognosis for osteomyelitis?
With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the prognosis for osteomyelitis is good. Antibiotics regimes are used for four to eight weeks and sometimes longer in the treatment of osteomyelitis depending on the bacteria that caused it and the response of the patient. Commonly, patients can make a full recovery without longstanding complications.
However, if there is a long delay in diagnosis or treatment, there can be severe damage to the bone or surrounding soft tissues that can lead to permanent deficits or make the patient more prone to reoccurrence. If surgery or bone grafting is needed, this will prolong the time it takes to recover.
Previous contributing author: Jason C. Eck, DO, MS
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King, Randall W. "Osteomyelitis in Emergency Medicine." Medscape.com. July 27, 2011.<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/785020-overview>.
Sia, I.G., Baebari, E.F. "Infection and Musculoskeletal Conditions: Osteomyelitis." Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 20 (2006): 1065-1081.
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