Osteomyelitis is an infection or inflammation of the bone or bone marrow. It can be very severe and potentially deadly if not promptly treated. The bone may become infected when an infection has traveled through the bloodstream or spread from nearby tissue, or if cellulitis or diabetic ulcers are ignored. Infections can also start in the bone itself when a person suffers an injury that has exposed the bone to germs.
The medical malpractice of a doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or an attending physician can also result in Osteomyelitis or other type of bone infection. Complications or errors during surgery or a complication of an injury can also result in bone infection. It is very important that Osteomyelitis be properly diagnosed by a doctor quickly so it can be treated effectively.
This was once considered an incurable condition. The treatment required to stop the infection’s spread and save the infected bone is aggressive. Surgery may be required to remove parts of the bone that has already died. After the dead portions of the bone have been removed, strong antibiotics are delivered, often intravenously, usually for a six week period.
The causes of Osteomyelitis include:
- A bacterial or fungal infection caused by:
- A pre-existing blood infection that has spread to the bone, or
- A bone fracture, injury, or complication of orthopedic surgery.
If the infection takes hold and is not treated, vital blood supplies may be blocked and the bone could die.
- A surgery, bone or orthopedic, to repair a bone or replace a joint.
- Injury, such as a deep puncture wound or a broken bone that has broken the skin.
In order to make a diagnosis of a blood infection, a general practitioner or primary care physician needs to examine the body part affected for signs such as tenderness and swelling. The doctor should take a medical history of the patient to determine whether the patient has received treatment for a recent accident, underwent an operation, or had an infection. If diagnosed early, medication and surgery can be an effective treatment. If not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, bone infections can become very difficult to treat.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a bone infection that was not diagnosed in a timely manner, was misdiagnosed, was treated improperly, or was mishandled in any way, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice and eligible for damages. Contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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