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Osteomyelitis: A troublesome complication of broken bones

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection. There are many types of germs that can cause this, and not all cases come from injuries. However, after a car accident or other injury, you are more likely to have an injury that allows bacteria to spread through the body. A simple cut or a broken bone that breaks through the skin both have the potential to cause osteomyelitis.

Any time you've recently broken a bone, you're at a higher risk of osteomyelitis. It's important to seek medical attention after your injury not only to set the bone but also to receive the medications you need to prevent this complication. It's most common for broken legs to result in osteomyelitis, but any bone can develop this infection.

What are some common signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis?

You may notice that a lump forms under the skin. The lump may be extremely tender and sore. Pain is common, and there may be redness of the skin. Usually, individuals develop a high temperature and feel unwell as the infection develops.

If you develop an infection after you break a bone, you may need extensive testing to identify the bacteria. Surgery may be necessary to clean the wound. It's because of this that it's important to get medical care right away after a crash and to keep information about your care for your insurance claim.

A complication like this can be costly, costing you money by missing work and by creating new medical bills. Your attorney can help you fight for compensation after an injury, so you can afford the best care.

Source: Patient, "Osteomyelitis," accessed Aug. 14, 2017

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