OSTEOMYELITIS
OSTEOPOROSIS
diet low in vitamin D;
malabsorption
in
conditions such as
coeliac disease
or fol-
lowing intestinal surgery; or insufficient
exposure to sunlight.
Osteomalacia causes bone pain, mus-
cle weakness, and, if the blood level of
calcium is very low,
tetany
. Weakened
bones are vulnerable to distortion and
fractures. Treatment is with a diet rich
in vitamin D and regular supplements.
Calcium supplements may be given if
osteomalacia is due to malabsorption.
osteomyelitis Infection, usually by bac-
teria, of
bone
and
bone marrow
. It is
relatively rare in developed countries
but is more common in children, most
often affecting the long arm and leg
bones and vertebrae; in adults, it usual-
ly affects the pelvis and
vertebrae
. In
acute osteomyelitis, the infection (usu-
ally
staphylococcus aureus
)
enters the
bloodstream via a skin wound or as a
result of infection elsewhere in the
body. The infected bone and marrow
become inflamed, and pus forms, caus-
ing fever, severe pain and tenderness in
the bone, and inflammation and swelling
of the skin over the affected area.
Prompt treatment over several weeks
or months with high doses of
antibiotic
drugs
usually cures acute osteomyelitis.
If the condition fails to respond, surgery
is performed to expose the bone, clean
out areas of infected and dead bone,
and drain the pus.
Chronic osteomyelitis may develop if
acute osteomyelitis is neglected or fails
to respond to treatment; after a com-
pound
fracture;
or, occasionally, as a
result of
tuberculosis
spreading from
another part of the body. The condition
causes constant pain in the affected
bone. Complications include persistent
deformity and, in children, arrest of
growth in the affected bone. In the later
stages of the disease,
amyloidosis
may
develop. Chronic osteomyelitis requires
surgical removal of all affected bone,
sometimes followed by a
bone graft;
antibiotic drugs are also prescribed,
osteopathy A system of diagnosis and
treatment that recognizes the role of the
musculoskeletal system in the healthy
functioning of the body. The basic prin-
ciple of osteopathy is that all body
systems operate in unison, and that dis-
turbances in one system can alter the
functions of others. The osteopath uses
manipulation; rhythmic stretching, and
pressure to restore movement to the
joints; and traditional diagnostic and
therapeutic procedures to diagnose and
treat dysfunction.
osteopetrosis A very rare inherited dis-
order in which
bones
harden and become
denser. Deficiency of one of the 2 types of
bone cell responsible for healthy bone
growth results in a disruption of normal
bone structure. In its mildest form, there
may be no symptoms; more severe forms
of osteopetrosis result in abnormally
high susceptibility to
fractures
; stunted
growth; deformity; and
anaemia.
Pres-
sure on nerves may cause blindness,
deafness, and facial paralysis.
Most treatments for osteopetrosis aim
to reduce the severity of symptoms.
Bone marrow transplants of cells from
which healthy bone cells might develop
are undertaken in some cases.
osteophyte An outgrowth of
bone
at
the boundary of a joint. The formation
of osteophytes is a characteristic fea-
ture of
osteoarthritis
that contributes to
the deformity and restricted movement
of affected joints.
osteoporosis Loss of bone tissue, caus-
ing the bone to become brittle and
fracture easily. Bone thinning is a natural
part of aging. However, women are espe-
cially vulnerable to loss of bone density
after
menopause
, because their
ovaries
no longer produce
oestrogen hormones,
which help maintain bone mass.
OSTEOPOROSIS
MICROSCOPIC VIEW OF BONE
O
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