OSTEOMYELITIS…. we hear this term frequently in our spinal cord injury community but do we know what it really means? Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, a rare but serious condition. Bones can become infected in a number of ways: Infection in one part of the body may spread through the bloodstream into the bone, or an open fracture or surgery may expose the bone to infection. Stay with us now, this is a short article. Down and dirty, quick information.
WHAT CAUSES OSTEOMYELITIS?
Usually a bacterium caused staph aureus causes osteomyelitis. Staph is a common bacterium that may live on skin or in the noses of some but it doesn’t cause an infection. When staph minds it’s own business on the skin, life is good. But when a wound is open bacteria can enter and wreak havoc. There are several strains of staph. You will hear the term MRSA, which is Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus, meaning that form of staph doesn’t respond to Methicillin antibiotics. That’s why we have to be so careful with our skin and our skin tears or sores. They can allow staph to enter, and then we have a problem. Also, be aware that certain conditions that weaken the body’s immune system can increase a person's risk for osteomyelitis. This includes people with diabetes. (So keep an eye on those feet!)