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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18450
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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what is osteomyelitis of phalanx and what is the treatment

Resolved Question:

what is osteomyelitis of phalanx and what is the treatment
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. A phalanx is a bone of the one of the fingers or toes. Actually, each finger and toe has more than one phalanx. The plural is phalanges.

The treatment would depend upon the specific appearance of the infection. Antibiotics are the primary treatment, and since it is difficult to penetrate antibiotics into the bone, the antibiotics are usually provided intravenously to achieve higher blood levels. And since the bone is slow to heal, it usually requires a longer course of antibiotics.

Ideally the selection of antibiotics is based on a culture of the infected bone,which would need to be obtained by aspiration or from surgery, but in some cases, the doctor may choose to provide a broad antibiotic to cover common germs. In general, osteomyelitis of any of the bones of the foot, including the phalanges, can involve a broader range of germs, some of which are harder to treat and need stronger antibiotics.

In some people the infection has caused sufficient damage to a portion of the bone so that surgery is needed to remove the portion of the bone. The imaging studies will typically indicate whether there is any problem that would require surgery.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

is chronic paranychia a similar problem and are either cancerous

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
A paronychia involves the soft tissue around the nail, so is not osteomyelitis. However, it is possible that a germ from a paronychia can penetrate deeper and get into the bone and cause the osteomyelitis.

Neither conditions are cancerous.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

many,many thanks.had an x ray yesterday and am now waiting for an ultra sound. Naturally very concerned that I had cancer of big toe. Is there still a chance of cancer?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
There is a chance of cancer, as it is possible for there to be both an infection and cancer arise in the bone, just as is true for infection elsewhere in the body. However, just as we are not concerned about lung cancer contributing to the development of pneumonia until the pneumonia does not respond as expected, we also are not concerned about bone cancer contributing to the development of osteomyelitis until it does not respond as expected.
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