Osteomyelitis is a bone infection. The infection can start in a fracture or weakness in the bone or surrounding tissues. When osteomyelitis exists in the maxillary sinus, a sinus infection may have spread to the surrounding nasal or cheek bones.
Acute osteomyelitis progresses rapidly. Chronic osteomyelitis may form over months or years. "The acute form tends to be more common in children," according to the Mayo Clinic.
"Bones are normally resistant to infection. In order for osteomyelitis to occur, a situation that makes your bones vulnerable must be present," according to the Mayo Clinic. Chronic sinusitis or fungal infections weaken the surrounding nasal and cheek bones.
Both acute and chronic osteomyelitis of the maxillary sinus share many symptoms. Common symptoms include pain, swelling and tenderness of the cheeks and nose.
Children with acute osteomyelitis can experience irritability or lethargy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Rapidly developing fevers can also occur.
Individuals with chronic osteomyelitis might experience chronic fatigue. Individuals might also experience fever and drainage from the nose. Drainage from the nose might consist of mucus or pus from an abscess in the bone.
The Mayo Clinic warns that, "sometimes osteomyelitis causes no signs and symptoms or has signs and symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from other problems."