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Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in a bone.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1]
Last updated: 7/28/2011


  1. Osteomyelitis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research . June 3, 2010; Accessed 9/28/2010.
  2. Osteomyelitis. MedlinePlus. May 30, 2012; Accessed 10/17/2013.
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