Infection can be defined as the invasion of the organism by some bacteria that can cause a disease. As for the bone infection it happens when bacteria affect bones. It can occur in two ways: through the bloodstream or through the contact with the environment. The bacteria usually eat away the bones and damage the blood supply in the area. This prevents antibiotics from reaching and killing bacteria.
The most frequent symptoms of the bone infection are redness, pain and swelling. Sometimes the fluid comes out through the skin. The name of this condition is a draining sinus tract. The disease may weaken the bone to such an extent that it may break.
There are two bone infections types. The first of the bone infections types is called mild bone infection. The characteristic feature of this type is that the infection does not damage the bone structural integrity and thus allows the use of the bone for weight bearing. Mild bone infection can be shown by radiographs. It is of paramount importance to take antibiotics regularly.
The second of bone infections types is called severe bone infection. The peculiarity of this type of the disease is that the infection eats the bone's structural integrity. So, the bone gets weak and breaks. It is extremely painful. There are certain groups of people that are especially prone to both bone infections types. They are those who are ill with rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS, HIV, diabetes, sickle cell anemia. These people have the higher risk of getting the infection. It is also necessary to mention those patients who have a number of medical problems, such as vascular and renal diseases, and those who have organ transplants and receive medications in order to maintain their immune system.
It is interesting to know that people can live with a bone infection for years. In this case bacteria do not enter the bone, but make the general well being deteriorate. This infection is called systemic infection. The most common signs of this infection are fever, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure and chills. This type of the infection occurs pretty often. However, it usually develops with those patients whose organism is weakened by other diseases.
Bacteria are able to enter the bloodstream and to go to other organs, such as the joints and the heart. Because of the damaged valves the heart can get weaker. As for the joints that are infected, they can get painful and swollen. Surgical washing is necessary in order to prevent the eating of the joint cartilage by the bacteria and white blood cells that are responsible for fighting the bacteria. If not to remove the bacteria from the joints, they can cause severe permanent arthritis, which is very harmful for the body.
It is worthy of note that bone infection can cause cancer. If a sufferer undergoes drainage performed through the sinus tract for a very long time, s/he can develop skin cancer. This skin cancer has the name Marjolin ulcer. The doctor should send the surgical samples to pathology laboratory to evaluate the potential appearance of cancer cells.