Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. It can happen in any bone in the body. But it most often affects the long bones (leg and arm), the spine, and foot bones. You can have a bacterial infection (usually from Staphylococcus) or, more rarely, a fungal infection.

Osteomyelitis is rare in the U.S. It tends to affect more men than women, and is most often seen in children and people over 50.

Bone can get infected when bacteria travels through the bloodstream from another spot in your body, or the bone itself can become infected directly. Osteomyelitis can be acute, meaning symptoms last a few months, or chronic, meaning symptoms last a long time. How the disease is treated depends on which type it is.

Osteomyelitis is a serious condition that needs medical treatment right away.

I Would Like to Learn About:

Conditions with Similar Symptoms

View Conditions

Related Information


Astragalus Barberry Burdock Echinacea Garlic Ginkgo biloba Goldenseal Licorice Red clover Slippery elm St. John's wort Valerian Yarrow


Lactobacillus acidophilus Vitamin A (Retinol) Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) Vitamin E Zinc

Learn More About

Acupuncture Herbal medicine Homeopathy Massage Nutrition

Review Date: 4/1/2016  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.