You have osteomyelitis, a bone infection caused by germs (bacteria). You may have been in the hospital to treat a broken bone or to have some other surgery on your bones. Your surgeon may also have removed some infection from your bones or drained an abscess.
Your doctor will ask you to take medicines called antibiotics at home to kill the germs in your bone. At first, you will probably need antibiotics given into a vein in your arm, chest, or neck. At some point, your doctor may switch you to antibiotic pills.
You probably need to take this medicine for at least 3 to 6 weeks. Sometimes, you will need to take it for several months.
If you are getting antibiotics through a vein in your arm, chest, or neck:
You may need to store some of the medicine at home. Be sure to do it the way your nurse or doctor told you to.
You must learn how to keep the area where your IV is clean and dry. You also need to watch for signs of infection (such as redness and swelling).
Make sure you give yourself the medicine at the right time. Do NOT stop taking antibiotics when you begin to feel better. If you do not take all of your medicine, or take it at the wrong time, the germs may become harder to treat. The infection may come back.
If you had surgery on your bone, you may need to wear a splint, brace, or sling to protect your bone. Your doctor or nurse will tell you whether you can walk on your leg or use your arm. Follow what your health care provider says you can and cannot do. If you do too much before the infection is gone, your bones can break.
If you have diabetes, it is very important to keep your blood sugar under control. See also: Managing your blood sugar
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Bone infection - discharge