A Brief Overview of Osteomyelitis

Nabil Ebraheim

For nearly two decades, Dr. Nabil Ebraheim has served as chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio. Over the years, Dr. Nabil Ebraheim has researched and provided treatment for a variety of skeletal conditions, including osteomyelitis.

Osteomyelitis, the medical term for a bone infection, most commonly affects the long bones of the arms and the legs, but it can develop in any bone in the body. In some cases, the infection begins in the bone itself, but osteomyelitis can also be transmitted from nearby tissue through the bloodstream. Although the condition affects people of all ages and walks of life, those with diabetes, sickle cell disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or other diseases that weaken the immune system have a higher risk of developing a bone infection.

Osteomyelitis symptoms are similar to those that accompany other infections. These include fever and chills, as well as redness, swelling, and warmth near the infected bone. Those with infection of the vertebrae often experience severe back pain, which can be worse at night. Previously considered incurable, osteomyelitis is now successfully treated with antibiotics or bone-removal surgery. A combination of the two treatments is often used for both acute and chronic cases.


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