Rare Rheumatology News

Disease Profile


Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in a bone. Signs and symptoms vary but may include bone pain, fever, chills, excessive sweating, malaise, or an open wound. People with the condition may also experience local swelling, redness, and warmth at the site of the infection. Although any bone in the body can be affected, the long bones of the arms and legs are most commonly infected in children, while the feet, spine bones, and hips are primarily affected in adults. Osteomyelitis is most often caused by a bacterial infection, although it can also be caused by a fungal infection. Risk factors for the condition include diabetes, poor blood supply, recent injury, intravenous drug abuse, surgery involving the bones, and a weakened immune system. The goal of treatment is to cure the infection and reduce damage to the bone and surrounding tissues. This may include medications to treat the infection and surgery to drain, clean and/or remove dead bone tissue.[1][2][3]


In some cases, osteomyelitis causes no signs or symptoms. When present, symptoms are often nonspecific and may be blamed on other, more common conditions. People affected by osteomyelitis may experience:[1][2][3]

  • Bone pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Malaise
  • Open wound
  • Local swelling, redness, and warmth
  • Irritability or lethargy (especially in young children)


Osteomyelitis occurs when an infection develops in a bone or spreads to a bone from another area of the body. It is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection (often staphylococcus bacteria), but may occur due to a fungal infection, as well.[1][4]

Risk factors for the condition include diabetes, poor blood supply, recent injury, intravenous drug abuse, surgery involving the bones, and a weakened immune system.[1]


A diagnosis of osteomyelitis is often suspected based on the presence of suspicious signs and symptoms. For example, a physical examination may show bone tenderness with possible swelling and redness. Additional tests and procedures can then be ordered to confirm the diagnose and to determine what is causing the infection.[1][4]

Tests may include:[1][4]


The primary aim of treatment is to address the infection and reduce damage to the affected bone. Antibiotics or anti-fungal medications may be given to destroy the bacteria or fungi that are causing the infection.[1][3]

Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may also be needed to remove dead bone tissue. Surgical procedures may involve drainage of the infected area, removal of diseased bone and tissue, restoration of blood flow, or removal of foreign material.[2][3][4]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Osteomyelitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Osteomyelitis. MedlinePlus. March 2016; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000437.htm.
          2. Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA. Osteomyelitis. Medscape Reference. September 2016; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1348767-overview.
          3. Tahaniyat Lalani, MBBS, MHS. Overview of osteomyelitis in adults. UpToDate. May 19 2016; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-osteomyelitis-in-adults.
          4. Osteomyelitis. Mayo Clinic. September 2015; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteomyelitis/basics/definition/con-20025518?METHOD=print.

          Rare Rheumatology News

          fascinating Rare disease knowledge right in your inbox
          Subscribe to receive