January 15, 2020
- Osteomyelitis is an infection in any part of a bone. It has a varied presentation including acute and chronic forms. Patients can present septic, or rather well appearing.
- Patients may present with fever, chills, musculoskeletal pain, erythema, swelling or drainage from an ulcer.
- Lab evaluation includes WBC, ESR and CRP, which we expect to be elevated in acute osteo, but less so in chronic.
- MRI is the best imaging modality, but XR and CT may have some findings that suggest osteo.
- Unstable patients should be started on broad spectrum antibiotics, usually vancomycin and cefepime, right away. Stable patients can be started on antibiotics in conjunction with your orthopedic consults.