Bone infections – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments for Osteomyelitis

Bones, our body’s structural foundation, are not immune to infections. Infections that affect the bone, like osteomyelitis, can pose serious threats to our health and well-being. Osteomyelitis, which literally means “inflammation of the bone,” occurs when bacteria or fungi enter the bone through an open wound or spread from another part of the body.

Osteomyelitis can affect anyone, from adults to children. People with compromised immune systems, such as those with diabetes or HIV, are at a higher risk of developing bone infections. The infection can cause severe pain, swelling, and tenderness at the site of the infection, making it difficult to move and perform daily activities.

Treatment for osteomyelitis often involves a combination of antibiotics and surgical intervention. Antibiotics are prescribed to combat the infection and prevent it from spreading further. Surgical procedures, like debridement (removal of infected tissue) or bone grafting, may be necessary to remove the source of the infection and promote bone healing.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial for a successful recovery from osteomyelitis. It is essential to seek medical attention if you experience persistent pain, swelling, or other symptoms that may indicate a bone infection. By understanding osteomyelitis and its treatment options, we can take proactive steps to protect our bones and overall health.

Bone infections and osteomyelitis: Overview and causes

Bone infections, like osteomyelitis, can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that can occur in any bone in the body, but it most commonly affects the long bones of the arms and legs, as well as the spine.

Osteomyelitis is typically caused by a bacterial infection, with Staphylococcus aureus being the most common culprit. The infection can occur due to direct bone contamination from an open fracture, infection spreading from nearby tissues, or through the bloodstream from another infected site in the body.

Direct bone contamination

When a bone is broken and there is an open wound, bacteria can directly enter the bone and cause an infection. This can happen during traumatic injuries such as car accidents or falls.

Spread from nearby tissues or other infections

In some cases, infections from nearby tissues can spread into the bone. This can occur when infections in the skin, muscles, or tendons spread into the underlying bone. Additionally, other infections in the body, such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia, can spread through the bloodstream and reach the bone, causing osteomyelitis.

It is important to promptly diagnose and treat bone infections to prevent further complications. If you suspect that you may have osteomyelitis or a bone infection, it is important to seek medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment.

Symptoms of bone infections

Bone infections, like osteomyelitis, can cause a range of symptoms that can vary depending on the severity and location of the infection. Common symptoms of bone infections include:

  • Persistent pain in the affected area
  • Swelling and redness around the infected bone
  • Warmth and tenderness to touch
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue and general malaise
  • Difficulty moving the affected limb
  • Pus or discharge from an open wound near the infected bone

These symptoms may develop gradually over time or appear suddenly, depending on the cause of the infection. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, as prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial in preventing further complications.

Types of bacterial bone infections

Bacterial bone infections, or osteomyelitis, can be classified into various types based on the causative organisms and the affected bone. The most common types include:

Type Description
Acute hematogenous osteomyelitis This type of infection occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream and spread to the bone. It often affects children and commonly affects the long bones, such as the femur and tibia.
Chronic hematogenous osteomyelitis In this type, the infection persists for a longer duration, usually more than six weeks. It can occur as a result of untreated acute osteomyelitis or from a chronic underlying condition.
Post-traumatic osteomyelitis This type of infection occurs as a complication of an open fracture or a surgical procedure involving bone. It can develop due to the introduction of bacteria into the bone during the injury or procedure.
Contiguous focus osteomyelitis This type refers to an infection that spreads from a nearby soft tissue infection, such as a skin or muscle infection, to the adjacent bone. It commonly occurs in diabetic patients and those with compromised immune systems.
Implant-related osteomyelitis Infections can also develop around orthopedic implants, such as joint replacements or metal plates. These can be challenging to treat due to the presence of foreign material and the formation of biofilms by the bacteria.

These are just a few examples of the different types of bacterial bone infections that can occur. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing these infections and preventing further complications.

Common risk factors for developing osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis, a severe bone infection, can be caused by various factors. Understanding the common risk factors associated with osteomyelitis can help individuals take preventive measures and seek timely treatment. The following are some common risk factors for developing osteomyelitis:

  • Poor blood circulation: Individuals with poor blood circulation have a higher risk of developing osteomyelitis. Conditions such as peripheral artery disease and diabetes can lead to impaired blood flow, making it easier for bacteria to invade the bone and cause infection.
  • Recent trauma or injury: Trauma or injuries that break the skin can provide a direct route for bacteria to enter the bone and cause an infection. Fractures, open wounds, and surgical procedures are some examples of situations where the risk of developing osteomyelitis increases.
  • Compromised immune system: People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infections, including osteomyelitis. Conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and certain medications like corticosteroids can weaken the immune system and decrease the body’s ability to fight off bacterial infections.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions make individuals more prone to developing osteomyelitis. Examples include diabetes, peripheral artery disease, sickle cell disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Age: Osteomyelitis can affect individuals of all ages. However, children and the elderly are more susceptible due to their developing or weakened immune systems.
  • Intravenous drug use: Individuals who use intravenous drugs have an increased risk of developing osteomyelitis. The injection of drugs directly into the bloodstream can introduce bacteria, leading to bone infections.
  • Underlying bone or joint infections: If an individual already has an infection in a nearby bone or joint, there is a higher risk of the infection spreading to the adjacent bone, resulting in osteomyelitis.

It is important to be aware of these common risk factors for developing osteomyelitis. Taking necessary precautions and seeking prompt medical attention in case of any concerns can help prevent the occurrence of this debilitating bone infection.

Diagnosing bone infections

Diagnosing bone infections, like osteomyelitis, can be challenging due to the complex nature of the disease. However, early diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment and prevention of complications.

Doctors often start by reviewing a patient’s medical history and conducting a physical examination. They may ask about any recent injuries or surgeries that could have led to the infection. Additionally, they may inquire about symptoms such as persistent pain, swelling, and fever.

To confirm a bone infection, doctors typically order imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans. These tests help identify any visible signs of infection, such as bone deformities or abscesses. However, in some cases, these tests may not provide conclusive evidence, especially in the early stages of the infection.

Other diagnostic methods

If the imaging tests are inconclusive, doctors may resort to additional diagnostic methods. One such method is a bone biopsy, where a small piece of bone is removed and sent to the lab for analysis. The analysis can help identify the presence of bacteria or other microorganisms causing the infection.

Another diagnostic tool is a nuclear medicine scan, which uses a radioactive tracer to detect areas of bone with increased blood flow or inflammation characteristic of an infection.

Signs and symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of bone infections is essential in early detection. Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent pain: Pain that does not go away with rest or over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Swelling: Swelling at or near the affected area.
  • Redness and warmth: The skin around the infection site may become red and warm to the touch.
  • Limited mobility: Difficulty moving the affected limb or joint.
  • Fever: Elevated body temperature, often accompanied by chills.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention promptly for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Treatment options for osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a serious bone infection that can cause severe pain and disability. The treatment options for osteomyelitis depend on various factors, including the severity of the infection and the patient’s overall health.


The primary treatment for osteomyelitis involves the use of antibiotics. These medications are used to kill the bacteria causing the infection. In some cases, the antibiotics can be taken orally, but in more severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be necessary. The duration of antibiotic treatment can vary, ranging from a few weeks to several months.

Surgical intervention

In certain cases, surgery may be required to treat osteomyelitis. Surgery may be needed to remove infected bone and tissue or to drain any abscesses that have formed. In more severe cases, amputation of a limb may be necessary to remove all infected tissue and control the spread of the infection.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment option that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This therapy can help increase the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, which promotes healing and fights off the infection. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be used in addition to antibiotics and surgery for more severe cases of osteomyelitis.

Long-term management

After the initial treatment for osteomyelitis, long-term management is crucial to prevent recurrence of the infection. This may involve ongoing antibiotic therapy, regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider, and lifestyle changes such as improved nutrition and smoking cessation.

If you suspect you have osteomyelitis or have been diagnosed with the condition, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. The earlier osteomyelitis is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of a successful outcome and prevention of complications.

Surgical procedures for severe bone infections

In severe cases of bone infections like osteomyelitis, surgical intervention is often required to remove infected tissue, promote healing, and prevent further complications. There are several surgical procedures commonly used to treat severe bone infections:

Debridement and irrigation

Debridement and irrigation is a surgical procedure where the infected bone and surrounding tissue are removed to eliminate the source of infection. This procedure is typically performed in cases where the infection is localized and can be completely removed without significant loss of function.


Sequestrectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a sequestrum, which is a piece of dead bone that has become separated from the surrounding healthy bone. This procedure helps to remove the source of infection and promote healing. It is commonly performed in chronic cases of osteomyelitis where the infection has caused the formation of sequestra.

In addition to these procedures, other surgical techniques may be employed depending on the severity and extent of the infection. These may include bone grafting, tissue flap reconstruction, and bone stabilization procedures.

It is important to note that surgical procedures for severe bone infections are typically performed in conjunction with antibiotic therapy to effectively treat the infection and prevent recurrence. A multidisciplinary approach involving orthopedic surgeons, infectious disease specialists, and other healthcare professionals is often necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for patients with severe bone infections.

Non-surgical treatments for osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis, a severe bone infection, can be a debilitating condition that requires immediate medical attention. While surgery is often necessary to treat osteomyelitis, there are also non-surgical treatment options available that can help manage the infection and alleviate symptoms.

1. Antibiotic therapy

The most common non-surgical treatment for osteomyelitis is antibiotic therapy. This involves the use of powerful antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed for less severe cases, while intravenous antibiotics are usually recommended for more serious infections or when the oral antibiotics are not effective. The duration of antibiotic therapy will vary depending on the severity of the infection and the response to treatment.

2. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is another non-surgical option for treating osteomyelitis. HBOT involves breathing in pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, allowing the body to absorb more oxygen and deliver it to the affected bones. This increased oxygen supply can help stimulate the body’s natural healing process and fight off the bacterial infection. HBOT is often used in combination with antibiotic therapy to enhance the effectiveness of treatment.

It is important to note that non-surgical treatments for osteomyelitis may not be sufficient for all cases. In more severe infections, surgery may be necessary to remove infected bone or tissue and promote healing. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for individual cases.

Overall, non-surgical treatments such as antibiotic therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be effective in managing osteomyelitis and improving outcomes for patients. These treatments can help reduce pain, control the infection, and promote bone healing. However, it is essential to follow the healthcare professional’s recommendations and closely monitor the progress to ensure proper management of this complicated bone infection.

Preventing bone infections

Osteomyelitis is a serious condition that involves the infection of the bone. It can be caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream, trauma to the bone, or the spread of infection from surrounding tissues. To prevent bone infections, it is important to take certain precautions:

1. Practice good hygiene

Regularly wash your hands with soap and water to reduce the risk of infections. Keep your wounds clean and covered to prevent bacteria from entering the body.

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help strengthen your immune system, making it more resistant to infections.

3. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system and impair the body’s ability to fight infections.

4. Take proper care of injuries

If you experience an injury, clean the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention if necessary. Prompt treatment can help prevent the spread of infection to the bone.

5. Follow proper medical procedures

If you require a surgery or a medical procedure involving bone, make sure it is performed by a qualified healthcare professional in a clean and sterile environment.

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of developing osteomyelitis and other bone infections. However, if you experience any symptoms of infection, such as pain, swelling, fever, or redness in the affected area, it is important to seek medical attention promptly.

Long-term complications of untreated osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a serious bone infection that, if left untreated, can lead to a number of long-term complications. Like any infection, osteomyelitis can spread to other parts of the body if the bacteria or fungi are not eradicated. In some cases, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, leading to sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

One of the main complications of untreated osteomyelitis is chronic pain. The infection causes inflammation in the affected bone, which can lead to persistent and debilitating pain. This can make it difficult for patients to move and perform daily activities, significantly affecting their quality of life.

Another common complication is bone deformities. Untreated osteomyelitis can cause the bone to weaken and become misshapen. This can result in fractures, dislocations, and difficulties in weight-bearing. In severe cases, bone loss may occur, leading to limb amputation.

In addition to complications directly associated with the bone, untreated osteomyelitis can also lead to systemic complications. Chronic infections can weaken the immune system, making patients more susceptible to other infections. It can also cause fatigue, fever, and weight loss.

In conclusion, untreated osteomyelitis can have severe long-term complications that go beyond the initial infection. It is crucial to seek prompt treatment to prevent the spread of the infection and minimize the risk of these complications.

Prognosis and recovery from bone infections

Bone infections, like osteomyelitis, can be a serious condition that requires prompt treatment to prevent further complications. The prognosis for patients with bone infections depends on various factors, including the severity of the infection, the patient’s overall health, and the effectiveness of the treatment.

If diagnosed and treated early, bone infections can often be managed successfully with antibiotics and surgical interventions. The duration of treatment may vary depending on the specific case, but it is typically a long process that requires diligent adherence to medication and follow-up appointments.

While recovery from bone infections can be challenging and time-consuming, many patients are able to regain full function and resume their normal activities with proper treatment and rehabilitation. However, it is important to note that some cases of osteomyelitis may result in long-term complications, such as chronic pain or impaired mobility.

Proper wound care, infection control, and a healthy lifestyle can significantly improve the prognosis and promote a faster recovery from bone infections. It is crucial for patients to follow their healthcare provider’s instructions and seek medical attention if they experience any worsening symptoms.

In conclusion, bone infections like osteomyelitis require timely and comprehensive treatment to achieve a positive prognosis and successful recovery. With proper care, patients can manage the infection and minimize long-term complications.

Research and advancements in osteomyelitis treatment

Osteomyelitis, a bone infection, can cause severe complications if left untreated. Fortunately, there have been significant advancements in the treatment of osteomyelitis in recent years.

Improved diagnostic techniques

Early and accurate diagnosis of osteomyelitis is crucial for effective treatment. Researchers have developed various diagnostic techniques to identify bone infections, such as imaging tests like X-rays, MRI, and CT scans, as well as laboratory tests like blood cultures and bone biopsies.

These advanced diagnostic techniques enable healthcare professionals to detect osteomyelitis at its early stages, allowing for prompt treatment and preventing further complications.

Novel treatment approaches

Traditionally, the treatment of osteomyelitis involved a combination of surgery and long-term antibiotic therapy. However, recent research has paved the way for innovative treatment approaches:

Treatment Approach Advantages
Biodegradable antibiotic-loaded implants Direct release of antibiotics at the infection site, reducing systemic side effects
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy Increased oxygen supply to the infected bone, promoting tissue healing
Magnetic targeted drug delivery Targeted delivery of antibiotics to the infected bone, enhancing therapeutic efficacy

These novel treatment approaches offer personalized and targeted interventions, minimizing the need for invasive procedures and reducing the duration of antibiotic therapy.

Moreover, ongoing research is focused on the development of new antimicrobial agents and vaccines specifically designed to combat bone infections like osteomyelitis.

In conclusion, the field of osteomyelitis treatment has seen significant advancements in both diagnostic techniques and treatment approaches. These advancements provide hope for improved outcomes and a brighter future for individuals affected by this challenging condition.

Impact of bone infections on specific age groups

Osteomyelitis, a serious bone infection caused by bacteria, can have different impacts on various age groups. Understanding these variations is important in effectively diagnosing and treating the condition.

For infants and young children, bone infections can impair their growth and development. The infection can affect the growth plates, leading to bone deformities and limb length discrepancies. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to minimize these long-term effects.

In adolescents, bone infections can cause significant pain and limit their mobility. This can have an impact on their physical activities, social interactions, and overall quality of life. Early intervention and appropriate antibiotic therapy are essential in managing the infection and preventing complications.

In older adults, osteomyelitis can be particularly challenging due to underlying medical conditions and weakened immune systems. Bone infections in this age group can lead to chronic wounds, prolonged hospitalization, and increased healthcare costs. A multidisciplinary approach involving infectious disease specialists and orthopedic surgeons is often required for successful management.

Overall, the impact of bone infections on specific age groups varies, highlighting the importance of tailored treatments and interventions. Early detection, appropriate antibiotic therapy, and surgical intervention when necessary are key factors in preventing long-term complications and improving patient outcomes.

Case studies and patient experiences with osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a serious bone infection that can cause significant pain and complications. To better understand the impact this condition has on individuals, let’s explore some case studies and patient experiences with osteomyelitis.

  • Case Study 1: Sarah, a 45-year-old woman, was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in her left femur after a car accident. She experienced severe pain and swelling in her leg, and her mobility was greatly impaired. Sarah underwent a series of surgeries to remove the infected bone and received intravenous antibiotics for several weeks. Although her recovery was slow and challenging, Sarah eventually regained her mobility and returned to her normal activities.
  • Case Study 2: Mark, a 60-year-old man, developed osteomyelitis in his spine due to a long-standing infection. He experienced intense back pain and weakness in his lower body. Mark required multiple surgeries to remove the infected bone and received prolonged antibiotic therapy. Despite the difficulties he faced during his treatment, Mark’s condition gradually improved, and he experienced less pain and greater mobility over time.
  • Patient Experience: Lisa, a 30-year-old woman, was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in her right tibia. She initially ignored the symptoms, mistaking them for general fatigue and discomfort. However, as her pain intensified and she began experiencing difficulty walking, Lisa sought medical help. After undergoing surgery to remove the infected bone and several months of intravenous antibiotics, Lisa’s condition significantly improved. She now advocates for early detection and treatment of osteomyelitis, emphasizing the importance of seeking medical attention when symptoms arise.

These case studies and patient experiences highlight the challenges and outcomes that individuals with osteomyelitis face. It is crucial to diagnose and treat this condition promptly to prevent further complications and ensure better patient outcomes.

Costs and economic burden of bone infections

Bone infections like osteomyelitis can lead to significant economic burdens for patients, healthcare systems, and society as a whole. The costs associated with the treatment and management of these infections can be substantial, and they extend beyond direct medical expenses.

Direct medical costs of treating bone infections include hospitalization, surgical interventions, antimicrobial therapy, and rehabilitation. Hospitalization alone can be a major cost factor, as patients with osteomyelitis often require long stays in the hospital for intravenous antibiotic therapy and surgical procedures such as debridement or amputation.

In addition to direct medical costs, there are also indirect costs associated with bone infections. These include lost productivity due to missed work or disability, travel expenses for medical appointments, and the need for assistance with daily activities during recovery.

Impact on healthcare systems

The economic burden of bone infections extends to healthcare systems, which bear the costs of diagnosing and treating these conditions. The complex and prolonged nature of osteomyelitis treatment often requires specialized care and multiple interventions, leading to higher healthcare expenditures.

Diagnostic tests, such as imaging studies and blood cultures, can be expensive. Additionally, the long-term use of intravenous antibiotics and the need for follow-up imaging tests to assess treatment response add to the overall costs. Moreover, the recurrence of bone infections may necessitate additional treatment and, consequently, further healthcare expenses.

Societal costs

From a societal perspective, bone infections like osteomyelitis can have wide-ranging economic consequences. The impact of these infections on productivity and quality of life can be significant, both for affected individuals and their families. The need for long-term medical care and rehabilitation can disrupt employment and lead to financial instability.

The costs associated with bone infections extend beyond the individual level, affecting healthcare resources, insurance providers, and society as a whole. The burden of these infections highlights the importance of preventive measures, early diagnosis, and appropriate treatment to minimize the economic impact and improve patient outcomes.

Cost factors Examples
Direct medical costs Hospitalization, surgical interventions, antimicrobial therapy
Indirect costs Lost productivity, travel expenses, assistance with daily activities
Healthcare system costs Diagnostic tests, specialized care, long-term intravenous antibiotics
Societal costs Impact on productivity, employment, and quality of life

Support and resources for individuals with osteomyelitis

If you or someone you know is dealing with osteomyelitis, it is important to know that you are not alone. There are numerous support groups and resources available to help you navigate this challenging condition and find the support you need.

Support groups

Support groups can provide a valuable space for individuals with osteomyelitis to share their experiences, connect with others who understand their challenges, and gain emotional support. These groups often meet regularly, either in person or through online platforms, allowing participants to engage in open and honest discussions about their symptoms, treatment options, and coping strategies.

By joining a support group, you can benefit from the wisdom and experiences of others who have been through similar experiences. It can provide a sense of community and solidarity, reminding you that you are not alone in your journey.

Online resources

In addition to support groups, there are various online resources available to individuals with osteomyelitis. These resources can provide valuable information about the condition, treatment options, and self-care strategies. They may offer educational materials, articles, and videos created by medical experts that can help you better understand your diagnosis and manage your symptoms at home.

It is important to rely on reputable sources for information, such as medical websites, reputable organizations specializing in bone infections, and peer-reviewed research articles. By doing so, you can ensure that the information you are accessing is accurate and reliable.

Remember, knowledge is power, and by educating yourself about osteomyelitis, you can make informed decisions about your treatment and lifestyle.

Additionally, some online resources may provide avenues for connecting with other individuals with osteomyelitis, allowing you to exchange information, seek advice, and find comfort in knowing others who are going through similar experiences.

Working with healthcare professionals

Finally, it is crucial to build a strong relationship with your healthcare professionals when dealing with osteomyelitis. Your primary care physician, specialists, and other medical professionals can provide essential support and guidance throughout your treatment journey.

They can answer your questions, provide treatment options, and monitor your progress. They may also refer you to specific support services or connect you with other individuals who have successfully managed osteomyelitis. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any concerns or questions you may have.

Remember, managing osteomyelitis requires a multidisciplinary approach, and having a supportive medical team can make a significant difference in your experience and outcomes.

In conclusion, if you or someone you know is dealing with osteomyelitis, know that there are numerous support and resources available to help you navigate this condition. By joining support groups, accessing online resources, and working with healthcare professionals, you can find the support and information you need to manage osteomyelitis effectively.

Question and answer:

What is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria or fungi that invade the bone tissue.

What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?

The symptoms of osteomyelitis may include pain and tenderness in the affected area, swelling, redness, and fever. In severe cases, there may be drainage of pus from the site of infection.

How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?

Osteomyelitis can be diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests (such as blood tests and cultures), and imaging studies (such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans).

What are the treatment options for osteomyelitis?

Treatment for osteomyelitis usually involves a combination of antibiotic therapy, surgical intervention to remove infected tissue or drain abscesses, and possibly the use of bone grafts or other techniques to promote bone healing.

Are there any complications associated with osteomyelitis?

Yes, osteomyelitis can lead to various complications, such as the spread of infection to surrounding tissues, bone necrosis (death of bone tissue), chronic infection, and the development of sepsis (a life-threatening infection in the bloodstream).

What is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria, typically Staphylococcus aureus. It can occur in any bone in the body and is characterized by inflammation, pain, and swelling.