lunes, 12 de diciembre de 2011

Avoiding Amputation: Repairing Infected Bones | Medical News and Health Information

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Avoiding Amputation: Repairing Infected Bones Medical News and Health Information

Avoiding Amputation: Repairing Infected Bones -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in the bone.  Two out of every 10,000 people are affected by osteomyelitis. It can be caused by a variety of microbial agents, most common in staphylococcus aureus.  It can also be caused by certain situations such as an open injury to the bone in which the bone pierces the skin; an infection from elsewhere in the body such as a urinary tract infection that has spread to the bone through the blood; bacteria in the bloodstream which is deposited in a focal area of the bone.  Osteomyeltis can affect both children and adults.   Children are affected most in the long bones of the legs and the upper arms.  Adults are commonly affected in the bones that make up the spine. However, people with diabetes, weakened immune systems, sickle cell disease, patients receiving hemodialysis and the elderly are more at risk. (

SYMPTOMS: Sometimes, osteomyelitis has no symptoms or signs within the infected area.  When there are symptoms, they usually consist of fever or chills; pain and/or tenderness in the infected area; swelling and warmth in the infected area; and drainage of pus through the skin. (

COMPLICATIONS: An infection in the bone can impede blood circulation within the bone and lead to bone death.  If a large section of the bone has died, that section of the limb may need to be amputated.  In children it can impair growth. (

TREATMENT: Treatment for osteomyelitis involves surgery.  Depending on the severity it may require a number of procedures.  First, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to kill any of the bacteria that may have remained in the bloodstream.  Then, doctors may open up the area of the infected bone to drain any fluid or pus that has accumulated due to the infection.  Also, in a procedure known as debridement, the surgeon removes as much as the infected part of the bone as possible, then taking healthy bone or other tissue from another part of the body to fill the space.  A filler is than placed in the pocket until the patient is healthy enough to undergo a bone graft or tissue graft. The graft helps the body repair damaged blood vessels and form new bone. ( MORE

Amir Matityahu, MD
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director of Pelvis and Acetabular Trauma and Reconstruction
Orthopaedic Trauma Institute
(415) 206-8812

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