Bone infections usually require surgery, and other treatment options include drainage of any pus, restoration of blood flow to the bone, removal of any infected bone and the removal of any foreign objects, which often include screws or other appliances from previous surgeries, Mayo Clinic reports. In the most serious cases, doctors may amputate limbs with infected bones to prevent the spread of the infection. Intravenous antibiotics and hospital stays follow surgical treatments for bone infections.
Surgery is often necessary to diagnose a bone infection, as a bone biopsy allows doctors to identify the particular type of bacteria that causes the infection, Mayo Clinic explains. This allows them to select the best antibiotics for the particular infection. In some cases, doctors biopsy the bone using a needle without surgery. Prior to biopsy, the doctors usually use medical imaging such as CT scans, X-rays or MRIs to reveal areas of bone damage.
Common symptoms of bone infection include pain in the area of infection, inflammation over the area of infection, fever and chills, according to Mayo Clinic. In some cases, bone infection causes few symptoms or causes symptoms that resemble those of other conditions. Causes of bone infection include circulation disorders, recent injuries or conditions that impair the immune system.