Author: Randall W King, MD & David Johnson, MD, FACEP
Background: Osteomyelitis is an acute or chronic inflammatory process of the bone and its structures secondary to infection with pyogenic organisms.
Pathophysiology: The infection associated with osteomyelitis may be localized or it may spread through the periosteum, cortex, marrow, and cancellous tissue. The bacterial pathogen varies on the basis of the patient's age and the mechanism of infection.
Synonyms and related keywords: central osteitis, hematogenous osteomyelitis, direct inoculation osteomyelitis, chronic osteomyelitis, osteomyelitis secondary to peripheral vascular disease, infection of bone, contiguous inoculation osteomyelitis, vertebral osteomyelitis, spinal-cord compression, spinal osteomyelitis, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter species, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus species, Pseudomonas species, Salmonellae species, diabetes mellitus, sickle cell disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, AIDS, IV drug abuse, alcoholism, chronic steroid use, immunosuppression, chronic joint disease