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Osteomyelitis; 2 MINUTES ON.

Byline: DR MIRIAM STOPPARD

What is it?

Osteomyelitis is an extremely serious infection in the long bones of the legs and causes severe pain. Other bones, such as those in the back or arms, can also be affected. Osteomyelitis can permanently damage bones if it's not identified and treated quickly.

Who's at risk?

You're more at risk of getting an infection in a bone if you have recently broken a bone; been injured; have an artificial hip, or a screw in a bone; recently had bone surgery; have a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy, or you have diabetes.

When to see your GP?

If you have pain, swelling and redness over a bone; have a very high temperature and feel unwell; or you have had osteomyelitis before. Take your child to a GP if they don't want to use an arm or leg and seem irritable - young children don't always get a temperature.

What's the treatment?

Osteomyelitis is treated with antibiotics usually given intravenously for up to 12 weeks, needing hospitalisation. If the infection is treated quickly (within three to five days of it starting), it often clears up fully. Painkillers will ease the pain, as will a splint, so you don't move the affected bone.

Surgery will be needed if an abscess develops in the bone or the infection has damaged the bone.

Diabetes and osteomyelitis

It's very important to look after your feet if you have diabetes. If you have poorly controlled diabetes, you can lose sensation in your feet and not notice if you suffer small cuts, which could develop into an infection that spreads to the bone.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 17, 2018
Words:272
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