Diabetic Complications

Diabetes is a very serious disease that many people suffer from. Not only do people with diabetes have to worry about their weight, their nutrition, and their medications, they also have to worry about the health of their feet. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from complications of the feet like osteomyelitis.

Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone. Infections can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or from spreading from nearby infected tissue. Contagions can also begin in the bone if an injury exposes the bone to germs. Diabetics may develop osteomyelitis in their feet if they have foot ulcers that are not properly cared for.


  • Fever or chills
  • Irritability or lethargy in young children
  • Pain in the area of the infection
  • Swelling, warmth and redness over the area of the infection


Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Germs can enter a bone through the bloodstream, through infected tissue, or open wounds.  It can also be caused by poor circulation. People who suffer from diabetes are more likely to have poor circulation and therefore have a higher risk of contracting osteomyelitis.


Osteomyelitis complications may include:

  • Bone death (osteonecrosis). This means that the bone is dying and needs to be removed usually via surgery in order to prevent the loss of the whole foot.
  • Septic arthritis. In some cases, infection within bones can spread into a nearby joint.
  • Impaired growth. In children, the most common location for osteomyelitis is in the growth plates. Normal growth may be interrupted in infected bones.
  • Skin cancer. If your osteomyelitis has resulted in an open sore that is draining pus, the surrounding skin is at higher risk of developing squamous cell cancer.

Prevention and Treatment

Once considered an incurable condition, osteomyelitis can be successfully treated today. Most people require surgery to remove parts of the bone that have died — followed by strong antibiotics, often delivered intravenously, typically for at least four to six weeks. Someone being treated for osteomyelitis should avoid cuts and scrapes, which allow for the bacteria to enter the body and cause the infection. Any cuts and scrapes should be cleaned immediately and bandaged.

Do you have ulcers on your foot? Concerned that they may have become infected? Call Syracuse Podiatry located in Fayetteville, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico and his highly trained team can help treat your osteomyelitis and stop it in its tracks. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today. Do not wait until it’s too late!

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