THIS term includes periostitis proper which is comparatively rare by itself, as this term means simply an inflammation of the outside lining of a bone named the periostium, and includes the inflammation of the bony substance called osteo periostitis and the marrow of the bone called osteo myelitis. They usually result from cold, blows, contusion, strains, adjacent inflammation, as very old ulcers, or from special constitutional diseases such as syphilis, tuberculosis or pus in the system called pyoemia. The symptoms may be very mild in the beginning, especially if the cause is not one of injury. Pain and swelling, usually of a deep boring character like a gimlet being screwed into the bone, occurs and is worse at night. The parts are extremely tender, often reddened and inclined to leave an impression of the finger when pressed upon.
Treatment. It is very desirable to have absolute rest of the part at first and the application of heat or cold, whichever is more agreeable, may be used; should distruction of the tissue go deeper, the treatment will be prompt incision and letting out the pus that is making the trouble. Poultices, hot antiseptic solutions and irrigation to wash away the old dead discharge may prevent death or necrosis of the bone, which will require a more extensive operation.
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