Like other parts of the body, bones can get infected. The infections are usually bacterial, but can also be fungal. They may spread to the bone from nearby skin or muscles, or from another part of the body through the bloodstream. People who are at risk for bone infections include those with diabetes, poor circulation, or recent injury to the bone. You may also be at risk if you are having hemodialysis.
Symptoms of bone infections include
- Pain in the infected area
- Chills and fever
- Swelling, warmth, and redness
A blood test or imaging test such as an x-ray can tell if you have a bone infection. Treatment includes antibiotics and often surgery.
Diagnosis and Tests
- Bone Scan (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Bone X-Ray (Radiography) (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in Spanish
- MRI of the Musculoskeletal System (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in Spanish
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: The clinical outcomes and surgical strategy for cervical spine tuberculosis:...
- Article: Discrimination of pyogenic spondylitis from brucellar spondylitis on MRI.
- Article: Retrospective analysis of culture-negative versus culture-positive postoperative spinal infections.
- Bone Infections -- see more articles
- Bones, Muscles, and Joints: The Musculoskeletal System (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
Find an Expert
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- Osteomyelitis - discharge (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish