The infection that causes osteomyelitis often is in another part of the body and spreads to the bone via the blood. Affected bone may have been predisposed to infection because of recent trauma. In children, the long bones are usually affected. In adults, the vertebrae and the pelvis are most commonly affected. Bone infection can be caused by bacteria or by fungus. Osteomyelitis is divided into several types depending on where an infection begins and where it occurs. Types of osteomyelitis include: infections that travel through the bloodstream, infections that occur after injury or surgery, infections in people with poor circulation, and infection in the bones of the spine.Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in a bone.
Last updated: 7/28/2011
- Osteomyelitis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research . June 3, 2010; http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/osteomyelitis/DS00759/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Accessed 9/28/2010.
- Osteomyelitis. MedlinePlus. May 30, 2012; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000437.htm. Accessed 10/17/2013.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The Journal of the American Medical Association provides a patient information page on osteomyelitis at the following link:
- The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research provides information about osteomyelitis at the following link:
- The Nemours Foundation provides information about osteomyelitis at the following link:
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
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