Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone which can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue
. Infections can also begin in the bone itself if an injury exposes the bone to germs.
Most common cause of osteomyelitis is staphylococcus bacteria
, types of germs commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals. Germs can enter a bone in different ways like:
- The bloodstream. Germs in other parts of your body can travel through your bloodstream to a weakened spot in a bone. Children's osteomyelitis most commonly occurs in the softer areas, called growth plates, at either end of the long bones of the arms and legs.
- Infected tissue or an infected prosthetic joint. Severe puncture wounds can carry germs deep inside your body. If such an injury becomes infected, the germs can spread into a nearby bone.
- Open wounds. Germs can enter the body if you have broken a bone so severely that part of it is sticking out through your skin. Direct contamination can also occur during surgeries to replace joints or repair fractures.