Acute osteomyelitis is an inflammation of bone marrow, almost invariably due to infection, that is rapid in onset and usually severe. It is commonly a disease of childhood. Affected adults usually have lowered resistance to infection caused by conditions such as diabetes mellitus, cytotoxic chemotherapy or AIDS.
Minor trauma often dictates the site of the infection, possibly by causing a small haematoma within the bone. The infection usually begins in the metaphysis.
Last reviewed 01/2018