Osteomyelitis is infection in the bone. Osteomyelitis tends to occlude local blood vessels, which causes bone necrosis and local spread of infection. Infection may expand through the bone cortex and spread under the periosteum, with formation of subcutaneous abscesses that may drain spontaneously through the skin. A Cochrane Review on the use of antibiotics to treat osteomyelitis in people with SCD noted that osteomyelitis is one of the most common infectious complications in people with SCD.
The prevalence of osteomyelitis among people with SCD is estimated to be in the range of 12% to 17.8%.Currently, it is estimated that 8,605 Canadians have SCD,47 roughly equating to 1,033 to 1,500 cases of osteomyelitis. Antibiotics effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms are given until culture results and sensitivities are available