The Taylor&Emmet Blog

Osteomyelitis – why an early diagnosis is so important

blue_suzannea_panelOsteomyelitis is an infection in the bone or bone marrow and can develop after a person has suffered an injury, such as a bone fracture. Symptoms can include pain and tenderness in the bone.

Osteomyelitis can affect people of any age, but there are groups of people that are more prone to developing osteomyelitis than others. For example, the NHS choices website provides that 30-40% of people with diabetes who experience a puncture injury to their foot will unfortunately develop osteomyelitis.

With advances in modern medicine, it is now unusual for osteomyelitis not to be cured once it is diagnosed. The cure rate for acute osteomyelitis is good at approximately 80%.

Treatment usually starts with IV and oral antibiotics and takes approximately 6 weeks in total. If acute osteomyelitis is not treated quickly and thoroughly, a long-term infection known as chronic osteomyelitis can occur.

The timeframe from developing acute osteomyelitis to developing chronic osteomyelitis will vary from person to person, but is usually in the region of months to a couple of years. The time it takes for osteomyelitis to progress will depend on many things, including a person’s pre-existing medical conditions.

Sadly, chronic osteomyelitis can sometimes result in the patient suffering with long term pain and swelling. Although rare, in the most serious cases, the patient may need to have an amputation.

A failure to treat osteomyelitis sufficiently in the early stages can therefore have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.

If you, or someone close to you, is suffering with chronic osteomyelitis and you are concerned that the diagnosis was delayed or that the medical treatment has been insufficient, please feel welcome to get in touch for some preliminary, straightforward, no obligation advice.

Suzanne Atter

Suzanne is a trainee legal executive in the clinical negligence department. She handles new enquiries and prepares letters of complaint on behalf of patients and their carers who wish to pursue a complaint about their medical treatment or care. She also assists the solicitors with their cases where necessary. For more information on this topic email or call her on 0114 218 4129.

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