Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone) can be caused by a variety of microbial agents (bacteria, fungus), the most common of which is staphylococcus aureus.

This serious infection can occur from a number of sources:

• It may enter bone through an injury, such as an open fracture with the bone ends piercing the skin.
• It can spread from elsewhere in the body or through the bloodstream.
• It can result from a chronic foot wound or infection, such as a diabetic ulcer.

To diagnose the condition, the foot and ankle surgeon will examine the area and may order blood tests and x-rays or other imaging studies. Treatment options include surgery and antibiotic therapy.

For additional information, read Diabetic Complications and Amputation Prevention.

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