Signs of Osteomyelitis in the Maxillary Sinus

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

Common Symptoms

Both acute and chronic osteomyelitis of the maxillary sinus share many symptoms. Common symptoms include pain, swelling and tenderness of the cheeks and nose.

Acute Symptoms

Children with acute osteomyelitis can experience irritability or lethargy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Rapidly developing fevers can also occur.

Chronic Symptoms

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."

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About the Author

Laura Munion is a freelance writer and copywriter. She has published numerous articles in print and online. Aside from writing, she is a mother of twins, who both have autism. Her favorite topics to write about are autism advocacy, books, fitness, nutrition, weight training, and Pilates.