What is osteitis?

Osteitis is a general term for inflammation of the bone. Osteitis is a condition that causes the bone to become thickened or swollen. This increase in mass may result in bone distortion, such as bowing or arching of a straight long bone. When the bone begins to change shape, it can also produce pain by altering weight bearing positions or increasing pressure against other internal structures of the body.

How common is osteitis?

This condition can occur in both men and women. However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of osteitis?

If you experience osteitis, you may have some signs and symptoms below:

  • Pain and stiffness on either or both the sides
  • Pain when you exercise or perform activities that involve a lot of movements, such as running or boxing
  • Pain when you put firm pressure on the bone
  • General pain in the area where osteitis occurs
  • Waddling or limping

When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent other medical emergencies, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes osteitis?

Osteitis can come from an infection in the bone or transferred from other parts of the body through blood flow.

Certain types of osteitis is formed by a genetic abnormality that changes your bone structure or bone production. Environmental factors are also thought to be involved, especially if you are exposed to arsenic, dogs, cattle and other pets, although many of these associations remain controversial.

Besides these causes, frequent friction on the bones can create wear and tear that ultimately lead to inflammation. Osteitis is also associated with surgeries of the reproductive and urinary tracts, trauma, childbirth, rheumatologic disease or performance of certain athletic activities such as running, football and tennis.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for osteitis?

If you have the following conditions, there is a chance that you might have osteitis:

  • Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia: a disorder that features the replacement of multiple areas of bone by fibrous tissue
  • Jaffe-Lichtenstein monostotic fibrous dysplasia: a form of fibrous dysplasia where only one bone is involved.
  • SAPHO syndrome: includes a variety of inflammatory bone disorders.
  • Paget’s disease of bone: a condition where new bone tissue isn’t enough to replace old bone tissue.
  • Osteitis fibrosa cystica: a skeletal disorder resulting in a loss of bone mass and weakening of the bones.
  • Osteitis condensans: a rare condition that causes an increase in bone density.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is osteitis diagnosed?

First, your doctor will ask about your medical history and check your physical symptoms. If your doctor suspects that you may experience osteitis, they will order imaging tests to check for any abnormality in the bones: X-ray, CT-scan, or MRI, etc.

How is osteitis treated?                           

Successful treatment of inflammation depends on treating the cause. If it is produced by an infection, symptoms will continue until the infection is eliminated.

With health conditions that cause permanent damage to the joints or bones, a comprehensive exercise and strengthening program may help alleviate painful symptoms and may also aid in the restoration of range of motion. In severe cases, surgical correction of the bone may be necessary.

The early treatment for osteitis concentrates on preventing the condition to become even more chronic. The treatment process may go on anywhere from six months to two years. Some recommended options are:

  • Bed rest: to reduce the pressure on the bones, as well as to avoid any further damage or aggravate the condition.
  • Ice therapy and heat therapy: to reduce swelling and control pain.

Medications: Paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen may help in reducing pain and discomfort.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage osteitis?

There are some useful tips that help you prevent osteitis:

  • Remember to warm up properly before exercise
  • Try to avoid some physical activities that make you feel uncomfortable
  • Take time to rest and recover

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: March 12, 2017 | Last Modified: April 17, 2017

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