Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus but also associated with other bacteria. Osteomyelitis can occur in any individual, but is most commonly associated with patients who have undergone certain treatments or suffered certain diseases. Osteomyelitis is more common after a joint replacement or after a wound becomes infected.
Certain diseases are also linked to an increased incidence of Osteomyelitis, including diabetes and Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). Diabetes has become more and more common worldwide, and increases in Peripheral Vascular Disease are linked to an aging population. With the increased prevalence of these diseases, more people are at risk of developing osteomyelitis.
The symptoms for Osteomyelitis include fever, pain, and swelling, so a differential diagnosis requires an evaluation of the health history of the patient. Recognizing the disease risk factors as well as the likelihood of a bone infection following an open fracture or surgical procedure drastically increases the likelihood of the disease being diagnosed and treated in time.
Failing to properly identify and treat Osteomyelitis can have significant side effects, including osteonecrosis (bone death) and arthritis, both linked to increased risk of amputation and severe pain. Severe pain can leave an individual unable to work or perform basic daily living skills. In some cases, patients have died from the infection, despite the fact that in most cases this disease can be treated with intravenous antibiotics.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to Osteomyelitis, determining whether or not proper diagnostics were performed in a reasonable timeframe can be difficult. An experienced attorney can help you find experts who can evaluate both the diagnosis and the treatment to determine whether or not medical professionals provided proper case in your case. Please, consult with a qualified lawyer about the details of the illness.