What Are Some Treatment Options for Chronic Osteomyelitis?


Quick Answer

Doctors treat chronic osteomyelitis with surgery, antibiotics and, in some cases, with casts or splints, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors prescribe specific drugs and perform different surgeries based on the underlying cause of the bone infection.

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Full Answer

Chronic osteomyelitis is a bone infection that lasts for longer than a few months, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. Bacterial or fungal infections can cause osteomyelitis, and it is most commonly diagnosed in children and adults over the age of 50. Doctors conduct bone scans, blood tests, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and other tests to confirm a diagnosis of osteomyelitis. People suffering from chronic osteomyelitis may need to take antibiotics for years and in some cases for the rest of their lives. Doctors may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help patients deal with pain.

Doctors perform several types of surgeries to treat chronic osteomyelitis, including draining pus and fluid around the infected bones, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors may also perform surgery to treat chronic osteomyelitis by removing bone and tissue or removing objects such as screws or pins that were put in place during a previous surgery that may be the cause of the infection. Doctors also perform bone or muscle grafts to restore circulation to the bones of those suffering from chronic osteomyelitis.

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