Osteomyelitis is a very difficult condition to treat, because often the only way to 100% cure it is cutting out the bone, which isn't always possible.
In osteomyelitis which has presented acutely--i.e. the person was well and then withint he last 2 weeks has developed the infection--there is a chance of curing the infection with antibiotics alone. Why? Because there won't be a lot of dead bone or abscess formation, both of which impair the antibiotic's ability to penetrate the infection. Often, treatment with 6 weeks of antibiotics in this case will cure the osteomyelitis assuming there is no foreign material nearby.
The situation becomes difficult when you have someone who has osteomyelitis which has been around for months or sometimes even years. The classic situation of this is when you have a person who has a diabetic foot ulcer which then erodes to bone. At this point, one can assume the bone is infected. This type of infection has been around for a long time and there is a huge mishmash of abscess and dead bone contained within the osteomyelitic bone, and you can give antibiotics until the cows come home, but you won't be able to cure it. This is why many people who have lonstanding diabetic foot infections need to have their forefoot or entire leg amputated.
There is not a lot of new treatments available for osteomyelitis. There are some new antibiotics, but they are no more able to penetrate dead bone or an abscess as previous antibiotics were. Some people believe in the idea of hyperbaric oxygen treatment of diabetic osteomyelitis as an adjunct to antibiotics in order to avoid surgery, but this rarely works.
Where does your sister have osteomyelitis? How long has she had it? Does she have diabetes?
My 8 year old daughter developed osteomyelitis two years ago. Presented as a pain in her left shin bone. Only bothered her at night. We didn't react at first as we believed it was only growing pains. She was limping as well but this was hidden by the fact that she had a limp from the year earlier when she had sustained a fractured femur due to a horse riding accident. I know, she has had the worst luck!!!!!!!!!
Anyway to allay your fears, she was admitted to hospital here in Ireland. Our health service is not the best so we had to wait for two weeks for an MRI to rule out a tumour. She then had a biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis of osteomyelitis. She spent a week in the hospital on IV antibiotics and then another 12 weeks on oral antibiotics.
She was fine then after, no problems at all.
What age is your sister?
I know this is a while after your question but I would love to hear how she is doing
I am new to this forum. I had Osteomyelitis when I was 9 years old. That was in the late 1950s. It was nearly 2 weeks before being taken to the hospital where I was diagnosed and operated on the next day. The infection was in my hip and thigh, with possibly my knee involved too. I was delirous for a lot of the time but do have vivid memories of those times too. The Osteomyelitis as got to my face but anitiobitics managed to clear that up. I was on a frame for many months with both legs in plaster. After that a frame bed alone, then wheel chair and finally walked again after about 9 months. The operation site was kept open for at least 3 months and a skewer type instrument was inserted everday to make sure any pus could flow out freely, also so that dead bone could come out. Bone continued to come out well over a year after.
I seemed to totally recover and it was not until my hip was hit hard during a basketball came when I was around 20 that I onc again started having problems, pain, feeling unwell etc. Since then I have a number of attacks. Those always coming in a chronic manner sometimes for many months before either fighting it off or it winning and becomming acute.
I am now 60 years old and it is once again Chronic although I feel that an Acute attack is imminent. I feel very unwell and suffer a lot of pain. Mostly at night at this time. I have been trying to hang on and fight it off as I have found that doctors do not understand Osteomyelitis especially chronically. I plan to go to the doctors this week about it and ask for a scan but I am not sure if I will be in a lot of pain at the time I go to the doctors and if he will even recognise it. I actually doubt it and am quite depressed about it. I just feel I cannot continue to live in a lot of pain, barely being able to function with also the non stop headaches and eing totally unwell.
If it goes acute at least I would get some kind of treatment but I am scared stiff of the pain I can then expect with temperatures being as high as 106 deg for days on end. Begging to have my leg amputated due to the totally unbearable pain. But I would need it amputated including my hip and possible some buttock area. The worst of the pain is in my hip, thigh and some in my knee.
During many previous chronic attacks I have had pimples break out on my buttocks which I have always believed at least let a litte of the poison pus out but this time I have only had one or two these and not very big.
Due to also havin Lichen Planus I have been on Cortisone & antiobiotics or a long time. I think the cortisone may have weakened my immune system so I cutting back so I can stop them. I ran out of antiobiotics about 3 weeks ago and at time the pain in my leg, hip increased no end. I am back on them now and the pain levels have dropped a little but not much and I feel very ill.
My Osteomyelitis has never been typical. My leg and hip not swollen and red although when I was a child my face was huge and red. Sometimes when I feel the leg and hip pain my face also hurts although not too badly.
Any advice will be very much appreciated. Sorry it is such a long email but I have had the disease for so very long.
I live in Australia in the countryside out from Adelaide in South Australia. The medical help here is far from top notch. Countryside facilities rarely are.
i sit here and and cry as I read these posts about osteomyletis my 11 year old sister is suffering terribly from it and doctors seem to be puzzled. she has gone to the ER for the past two days for tortodol shots and last night they at least gave her 5 shots. and prescribed her DILAUDID for the pain but it barely helps .
it seems that everyone with osteomyelitis is just going round in circles, we really want to find a doctor that has already helped someone with this.... so i cant wait to find somebody out there with the same situation with a happy ending so we can follow.