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Osteomyelitis

Bacterial bone or spine infection

Osteomyelitis is a painful bone infection that needs to be treated early to avoid complications

About osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis can affect anyone, it is more common after a recent fracture, especially if you needed pins to stabilise your bone, if you have an artificial hip, or if you've had surgery or osteomyelitis before.

A severely weakened immune system, diabetes or close contact with tuberculosis can also make it more likely.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis? icon plus

    If you have osteomyelitis, you are likely to experience pain, swelling, redness or a warm feeling around an area of bone. You usually feel it in the long bones of your legs (femur). This may be combined with a high temperature or fever, although less so in young children.You should be especially aware of these symptoms if you've had osteomyelitis before.

  • How is osteomyelitis diagnosed? icon plus

    When diagnosing osteomyelitis, you'll probably have a blood test done first. Your consultant or GP may then also recommend a scan, or a biopsy when they'll take a small amount fluid from the bone to test it.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If you have osteomyelitis, your consultant will prescribe you antibiotics, usually for at least six weeks. If the infection is severe, you may have to stay in hospital to have antibiotics intravenously, which is when they are given directly into your vein. In some cases, you may need surgery. This could be to remove bone damaged by the infection, to prevent possible deformity or to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.
Consultant in theatres

Our osteomyelitis specialists

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts, specialising in obone conditions such as osteomyelitis, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex orthopaedic surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road

    Wilmslow

    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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