Osteomyelitis Patient Story

Infectious Disease Treatment Requires an Inquisitive Mind

E.B. has suffered from mystery illnesses and odd ailments for so many years, it has become a way of life for her. Multiple medical issues including, hemorrhaging, unexplained fevers and immune malfunction symptoms kept her from enjoying her life. “I used to play soccer, scuba dive, and I golfed every day,” said E.B. “I used to be an international flight attendant, but recently, my health has kept me from doing many of the things I used to enjoy. I miss being out in the world.”

When she had to have major back surgery in 2010, she healed beautifully on the right side but continued to have pain on the left side long after the surgery, along with a nagging wound on her left hip that would not heal properly. She began a treatments with an antibiotic on more than one occasion but the problem persiste

Ultimately, E.B.’s primary care physician referred her to infectious disease specialist Dr. Serge Lartchenko, and she felt hopeful she might find some lasting relief. Dr. Lartchenko inserted a PICC line, and E.B. began a daily course of strong IV antibiotics as well as hyperbaric chamber sessions. “Dr. Lartchenko was curious about why my wound wasn’t healing and began to ask me a lot of questions,” she said. “He was researching on his phone, talking to me, and conferring with a spine surgeon. He is very well connected and could just pick up his phone to call someone I had previously seen. Finally, after a lot of research, he asked me if I would like a second opinion about my diagnosis.”

Dr. Lartchenko’s curiosity, investigative nature, and willingness to go the extra mile for E.B. has changed the course of her life.

With a few diagnostic tests, he was able to determine that E.B. was suffering from osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone he felt was related to the hardware used in her 2010 spine surgery. Without surgery to remove the hardware, Dr. Lartchenko told her she might never see any real relief.

“I feel like I am finally in the greatest hands now,” said E.B. “As a patient, Dr. Lartchenko makes you feel like you are the most important person in his life during the time that you are with him. It’s like he is family. I have so much hope that I am nearing the end of this journey.”

In spite of knowing she will require another surgery to remove and replace the hardware that caused the osteomyelitis, E.B. can’t wait for her future and so grateful for the care of Dr. Lartchenko and the dedicated staff at Texas Infectious Disease Institute. “French philosopher Voltaire once said ‘Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.’ That’s how I feel about Dr. Lartchenko,” she said. We hope to continue inspiring that level of confidence in our practice to everyone in need of infectious disease treatment in DFW.