How We Can Help
Osteomyelitis Treatment Information
Our physicians offer diagnosis and treatment of osteomyelitis with services such as:
- Complete blood count. To run a complete blood count test, our lab technicians draw a small blood sample. The sample is then examined in a lab to see how many white blood cells you have. White blood cells are the immune cells that attack infections. If you have a high number of white blood cells, it may mean your body is currently fighting an infection.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Using a small blood sample, physicians can determine if your red blood cells are heavier than normal by seeing how quickly they fall to the bottom of a test tube. Heavier, faster falling cells indicate you have an infection.
- C-reactive protein. This blood test measures how much C-reactive protein you have in your blood. C-reactive proteins appear more often in your blood if you have swelling or inflammation in your body. If you have a high level of these proteins or inflammation, you may have an infection.
- Bone biopsy. Guided by X-rays or other imaging devices, physicians insert a small needle into your bone where an infection is suspected to take a sample. The sample is then examined for signs of infection such as bacterial cells. You may receive a numbing medication or sedative to reduce any pain experienced with the procedure.
- Radionuclide bone scans. During this imaging test, a dye is injected into your bone and an X-ray is taken. The dye helps physicians better see details in the bone, such as abnormal growths.
- Computed tomography scan (CT scan). CT scans take X-rays of the body from multiple angles for a more complete and detailed picture of your bones. Our physicians examine these images for signs of abnormalities in your bones.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses no radiation to produce images of the bones and other organs inside your body. These images may help physicians see where bones are abnormal or may be infected.
- Antibiotics. If bacteria are causing your osteomyelitis, you will be prescribed antibiotics delivered straight into your bloodstream intravenously (through an IV). Depending on your condition, you can receive this treatment in the hospital, at home or at an outpatient center. Antibiotics are an effective treatment for osteomyelitis in its early stages.
- Pain management. You may be prescribed medications to reduce the levels of pain you experience as a result of your infection. Our physicians will monitor and manage these medications and any side effects, such as nausea and dizziness, they may cause.
- Referral to specialists. In some cases, amputation or other surgeries are necessary to eliminate the infection. As part of the only nationally ranked healthcare system in the state, our Infectious Diseases physicians refer you to leading experts in orthopedic surgery for these procedures. After the surgery, you will be referred to physical therapists and other specialists.
Osteomyelitis Locations & Physicians
Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.
Find a Specialist
Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.
Osteomyelitis Support Services
Osteomyelitis is uncommon, but can be serious. Learn more about the condition and how it is treated at the website below.
A Sampling of Osteomyelitis Support Services
This online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health provides health information about the causes and treatments for osteomyelitis.