Bone infections - Therapy and complications

Drug treatment of bone infection

The goal of the treatment is to stop the infection and stop the removal of the bone and the surrounding soft tissues. Mostly the therapy consists of a medical and an operative part. By administering antibiotics, the causative agents of the inflammation, the bacteria, are to be killed. For this, it is important to know the exact pathogen in order to choose the right antibiotic.

antibiotic treatment

As long as the result of the bacteriological examination is not yet available, one usually administers a mixture of several antibiotics, which safely kills the most common bacteria. Once the guilty pathogen has been found, the right antibiotic can be targeted. Since the blood circulation of the bone is relatively poor, the antibiotics must be taken much longer (at least 3 weeks) than in middle ear or kidney pelvic inflammation.

Surgical interventions

If the pathogens have already destroyed large parts of the bone or if a lot of pus, inflamed or even dead tissue has formed, medical treatment alone is not enough, but surgery is required - even if larger parts of the bone are lost.

After the infection has healed, the bone defect can then be reconstructed in a second operation, for example by inserting healthy bone tissue or bone marrow into the bone gap. Foreign objects in the inflamed area are also removed. These include, for example, implants such as an artificial hip joint or bone grafts. Every foreign body ensures that the infection remains active.

What complications can occur?

The biggest danger with a bone infection is the sepsis, so a blood poisoning. The permanent penetration of bacteria and their toxins into the bloodstream leads to a general infection of the body, which can be life-threatening.

Especially in children, a bone infection can leave significant permanent damage. Because of the inflammation, growth disorders can occur, such as a schiefwuchs or a shortened or accelerated growth of the bones, which can cause pronounced leg length differences especially in the lower extremities. Also, the destruction of joints at an early age can lead to protracted malpositions of the skeleton. That is why timely treatment is so important.

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