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How Serious is Osteomyelitis?

Shahid Iquebal   by Shahid Iquebal, M.Pharm.    Last updated on October 3, 2019,

can osteomyelitis be fatal

Can osteomyelitis be fatal?

Osteomyelitis is a serious condition and if it is left untreated, the infection can advance to other joints and other parts of the body. This will lead to widespread infection and septic and even bone death by affecting the blood circulation within the bone.

Your doctor will need to amputate the infected bone and tissue surrounding it to check the further spreading of the infection leading to severe disability.

Infection from bone may transfer to blood and can cause blood infection resulting in blood poisoning (septicaemia) fatal illness and multiple organ failure.

In some cases, chronic infectious draining sites and the surrounding skin can evolve into a squamous-cell type of skin cancer.

In recent studies, serious neurological complications secondary to abscess have been reported associated to spinal osteomyelitis.

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Can osteomyelitis lead to death?

Osteomyelitis can be cured if treated early. In case of chronic infection, prognosis may take time and sometime amputation is the last resort.

Mortality rates associated with it are generally low unless there is a presence of chronic or serious concomitant illness.

Deaths are very rare and were common before commencement of antimicrobial regimen. Sometime, it happens in patients who have osteomyelitis of spine for a long time, due to infection of membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain.