O Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that is associated with high morbidity and increased health care costs. The inflammatory response associated with acute osteomyelitis can lead to bone necrosis and subsequently chronic infections. Bacterial pathogens, particularly Staphylococcus aureus, are the most common microorganisms implicated in these infections. Diagnosis and treatment are often difficult due to the heterogeneous nature of osteomyelitis. Medical management is the mainstay of treat ment for acute infections; however, surgical intervention is necessary for chronic cases that involve bone necrosis. Outcomes may vary based on patient-specific risk factors, duration of disease, and site of infection.

FIGURE 81-1. Classification by route of infection.
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