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Remembering the differential diagnosis of Osteomyelitis shouldn’t be hard. We have made a mnemonic that exactly helps you in remembering this topic vividly 

The symptoms of osteomyelitis, a bacterial infection of the bone, can be vague and easily mistaken for those of other diseases. In order to pinpoint the precise source of the patient’s symptoms and begin therapy, a differential diagnosis is essential. Possible alternative diagnosis for osteomyelitis include:

Swelling, redness, and discomfort are all symptoms of cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis can spread to the bone and become osteomyelitis in rare circumstances. Differentiating between the two may require a complete medical history and physical examination.

Osteomyelitis-like symptoms may also be present with septic arthritis, a bacterial infection of the joint. Diagnosis of septic arthritis might be aided by aspiration of synovial fluid from the affected joint.

Bone tumour: The pain and swelling brought on by a bone tumour can be mistaken for those of osteomyelitis. X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans are examples of imaging studies that can help doctors tell the two illnesses apart.

Joint pain and stiffness are common symptoms of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Yet, it does not usually induce fever or localised swelling like osteomyelitis does.

As uric acid crystals build up in a joint, it causes pain, swelling, and redness known as gout. Gout is not frequently accompanied by fever or localised swelling like osteomyelitis.

Repetitive stress on the bone can produce tiny cracks, medically known as stress fractures. Pain and swelling in the affected area are common signs, and can be mistaken for osteomyelitis.

How To Remember The Differential Diagnosis of Osteomyelitis?

Differential Diagnosis of Osteomyelitis :

  • Fracture, including pathological and stress fractures.
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • SAPHO syndrome (synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis)
  • Charcot arthropathy especially in people with diabetes
  • Avascular necrosis of the bone
  • Metastatic bone disease
  • Sickle cell Vaso occlusive pain crises

Mnemonic: F****ng BAG SCAMS here



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Differential Diagnosis of Osteomyelitis Mnemonics

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department