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The most common signs of osteomyelitis are bone pain and a high temperature.
Most cases of acute osteomyelitis involve one of the long bones in the legs. However, sometimes the bones in the arm or in the back (the vertebrae) can be affected.
The symptoms of acute osteomyelitis include:
In teenagers and adults, these symptoms tend to develop within a few weeks of an injury or accident, such as a broken bone.
Young children who cannot talk may be unable to report their painful symptoms to you. You should look out for the following signs:
In cases of chronic osteomyelitis, you are likely to experience similar symptoms to a previous infection.
Once chronic osteomyelitis is established, the person affected may have periods of almost no symptoms. However, symptoms can flare up at any time. For example, you may experience:
You should always visit your GP if you or your child develops a high temperature (fever) and persistent bone pain, or if you are worried about symptoms in a very young child.