Donate to Osteomyelitis Research, Patient Care and Education

 Osteomyelitis is an infection that spreads to the bone tissue through the bloodstream or from nearby tissue. It can be caused by any number of germs, but most cases are caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Infections can also begin in the bone itself if an injury exposes the bone to germs.  It is estimated that osteomyelitis impacts two in every 10,000 Americans. Osteomyelitis can affect anyone but is more common in infants and children (affecting the long bones of the limbs), and older adults (affecting the spine, hips, and feet). People at greater risk include those with weak immune systems, recent injuries, diabetes, are receiving dialysis for kidney disease, wear a prosthetic device, or are intravenous drug users or have an injury that has exposed the bone to germs. The need for further research has never been greater.  With your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you support our team of scientists conducts research to advance medical knowledge to benefit patients diagnosed with osteomyelitis.

 Osteomyelitis may not cause any signs or symptoms or may be hard to distinguish from other problems. This may be especially true for infants, older adults and people whose immune systems are compromised. Also, symptoms of osteomyelitis depend on the location and severity of the infection and inflammation. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Pain in the area of the infection
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • Lower back pain or stiffness
  • Trouble bearing weight
  • Limping due to pain

Although once considered incurable, osteomyelitis can now be successfully treated. Physicians at Northwestern Medicine offer treatment for osteomyelitis depending on the location and the degree of the inflammation and the type of microbe causing the infection. In most cases, medication is used to treat the infection, but if osteomyelitis is severe or chronic, surgery is needed to remove areas of the bone that have died.  In rare cases, amputation may be the only way to fully remove the osteomyelitis. By supporting Northwestern Medicine’s Division of Infectious Disease with a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help further research and innovative treatments that will benefit our patients.

The multidisciplinary staff at Northwestern Medicine are dedicated to improving the health of those living with acute and chronic infectious diseases.  They will help patients prevent infections from occurring by reducing the risk of infection with precautions such as avoiding cuts, scrapes and animal scratches and bites, which give germs easy access to the body.

Osteomyelitis Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you become an integral part of the research to advance medical knowledge to benefit our patients and community. With your donation, you support The Division of Infectious Disease staff which includes an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers and pharmacists, all dedicated to improving the health of those living with an infectious disease.  Our mission is to provide high-quality care to individuals with all types of infections, including osteomyelitis. Your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation makes a difference.

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