Osteomyelitis Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis:

  • Signs and symptoms of acute osteomyelitis:
  • Affected area of bone is painful
  • Affected area of bone is tender
  • Affected area of bone is warmer than other areas
  • Affected area of bone may be red
  • Elevated body temperature (fever), which may be abrupt. Sometimes not present. In children may be mild.
  • Sometimes there is loss of movement in the affected area
  • Young children may be irritable or lethargic

Signs and symptoms of sub-acute and chronic osteomyelitis:

  • Affected area is tender
  • Affected area may be red
  • Affected area may look strange, possibly deformed
  • Bone pain in the affected area
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Instability in the affected area
  • Loss of movement in the affected area
  • Near the area of infection there may be drainage from an open wound

Sometimes the symptoms of chronic osteomyelitis may be subtle (not obvious), or they could be symptoms of an injury, rather than an infection. When identifiable signs and symptoms are not present inside the hip, pelvis or spine, an accurate diagnosis is much more difficult.