Osteomyelitis is the medical term for a bone infection. It can be a devastating problem, because generally speaking, antibiotics do not do a very good job of treating this. In the foot and ankle, the best treatment is typically to remove as much of the bone that is affected as possible while leaving a functional foot, and then use intravenous antibiotics to try and clean up any remaining infection that could remain.
One common problem we see that leads to bone infection is neuropathy. Patients can develop neuropathy from many different causes, but the most common cause in the U.S. is now diabetes. Neuropathy is essentially a condition in the lower extremity that develops when the nerves to the foot and ankle no longer work as well as they used to. When this happens, patients can lose the "gift of pain" and no longer know when something like a blister or wound has started on their foot. Unfortunately, these can be sources that can lead to bone infections and possibly amputations of the toes, foot, or lower leg.
If you have any foot and ankle problems, don't wait to seek treatment. Many times, early treatment and intervention can help give you the best outcome possible. Call our foot and ankle surgeon at 719-488-4664 today, so we can help you!