Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. It can be caused by a variety of microbial agents and situations including:

  • An open injury to the bone, such as an open fracture with the bone ends piercing the skin.
  • An infection from elsewhere in the body, such as a urinary tract infection that has spread to the bone through the blood.
  • A minor trauma, which can lead to a blood clot around the bone and then a secondary infection from seeding of bacteria.
  • Bacteria in the bloodstream, which is deposited in a focal (localized) area of the bone. This bacterial site in the bone then grows, resulting in destruction of the bone. However, new bone often forms around the site.
  • A chronic open wound or soft tissue infection can eventually extend down to the bone surface, leading to a secondary bone infection.

Osteomyelitis affects about two out of every 10,000 people. If left untreated, the infection can become chronic and cause a loss of blood supply to the affected bone. When this happens, it can lead to the eventual death of the bone tissue.

With proper treatment, the outcome is usually good for osteomyelitis, although results tend to be worse for chronic osteomyelitis, even with surgery. Some cases of chronic osteomyelitis can be so resistant to [antibiotic] treatment that amputation may be required. It is important that osteomyelitis receives prompt medical attention.

Phage Therapy Center's Treatment of Osteomyelitis

Bacteriophages are particularly effective in a number of situations where antibiotics are inadequate due either to bacterial resistance or poor blood supply; such situations include osteomyelitis.

It is necessary that Phage Therapy Center perform an opinion based on a medical report, a bacterial sample, and X-rays -- plus the questionnaire that is requested via the patient logistical plan -- before it is possible to determine if the patient is a good candidate for phage therapy. Ask your physician to include in the medical report: a list of the antibiotics that have been prescribed; analysis of the blood; analysis sugar in the blood; and any lab reports that identify the species of bacteria causing the infection. Bacterial isolates must be cultured from the drainage of the fistula or via aspiration. Hospitalization may be required, depending on the severity and location of the infection.

Case History

After breaking his foot five years ago, Toronto bass player Alfred Gertler got an infection that antibiotics couldn’t cure. Doctors told him he might have to have his foot amputated. But then he read about a radically different way to treat infections in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Ten months after Gertler returned from Georgia, his foot and ankle are completely healed, and he has resumed his career as a jazz bassist.


CBS News - Silent Killers, Fantastic Phages
April 9, 2003

Alfred's Story
Evergreen State College, Olympia Washington

Copyright (c) Phage Therapy Center 2004-2022