Category: Blog

Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis

At Hyper Healing, we combine wound care with hyperbaric medicine practices. This, in conjunction with certain surgeries and antibiotics provided by referring physicians, can help a variety of chronic wound conditions heal more completely. One of the conditions that can benefit from hyperbaric treatments is chronic refractory osteomyelitis, a recurrent infection of the bone or bone marrow. While there are numerous medical disorders that are indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, we wanted to focus specifically on how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help chronic refractory osteomyelitis.

What is Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone or bone marrow. This infection can occur when the bone is directly exposed to bacteria in the form of an injury, or an infection can travel through the bloodstream and reach the bone. Osteomyelitis becomes chronic when the condition persists or reappears despite treatment. Symptoms of chronic refractory osteomyelitis include chronic pain and a prolonged healing period. 

The cause of recurrent osteomyelitis is typically due to underlying conditions such as a compromised immune system or poor circulation. Unfortunately, osteomyelitis is a difficult condition to treat due to the fact that many antimicrobials can not fully penetrate the bone. This is why the use of hyperbaric chambers, in addition to routine surgeries and antibiotics, is the most widely accepted treatment for chronic refractory osteomyelitis. 

How Hyperbaric Chambers can Help with Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis

The first action to take when it comes to treating chronic refractory osteomyelitis is to see your doctor to discuss possible necessary surgeries or antibiotics. If your wound has not responded to these treatments in a four to six-week span, then hyperbaric oxygen therapy becomes an appropriate next step.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a process in which a patient is placed in a chamber where they breathe 100 percent oxygen at an increased atmospheric pressure. A typical span of therapy for patients with chronic refractory osteomyelitis consists of anywhere from twenty to sixty 90-minute treatments. Due to the nature of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, complications are few and far between, and there are not many contraindications that would make a patient ineligible for this treatment. 

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers treat it by assisting the white blood cells in killing bacteria. Once the infection is gone, the osteoclasts can begin to create new bone to replace the dead bone that had been infected by bacteria. The high levels of oxygen that the chambers provide help to ensure this process is optimally completed. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also aid antibiotics, ultimately allowing them to work better in the treatment of certain recurring conditions.

The most common complication associated with chronic refractory osteomyelitis is not getting the treatment you need fast enough. When this condition is not treated quickly, there is a potential to develop serious wounds that can lead to amputations, especially if the wound is located on any lower extremities. If you have a wound that either shows no healing progress within two weeks, or has not completely healed in six weeks, contact Hyper Healing for an evaluation to determine the underlying reasons for the delayed healing. We offer a wide variety of services to help you on your journey to complete healing.

Healing Wound Process

At Hyper Healing, we offer advanced therapies and progressive procedures for those with chronic wounds. A chronic wound is one that fails to proceed through the normal phases of wound healing in a timely manner. We recommend that you schedule an appointment with a wound care specialist if you have a wound that shows no healing progress within two weeks, or if the wound is not completely healed by six weeks. Before scheduling an appointment at a wound center, there are recommended ways to care for your wound to promote the healing process. November is National Healthy Skin Month, so we wanted to offer some tips for minimizing scars, promoting healthy skin production, and how to take care of a healing wound.

Stages of the Healing Process

Inflammatory Stage

This preliminary stage in the healing process occurs following the moment of trauma. The blood vessels at the point of injury constrict to create a blood clot to stop the bleeding. Once the clot has formed, the blood vessels expand to promote blood flow to the wound. During this time, white blood cells move to the area to destroy foreign bodies in the system. On the exterior of the wound, skin cells form to create a protective barrier across the wound.

Fibroblastic Stage

In this stage, a skin-strengthening protein called collagen grows within the wound to help close the wound. 

Maturation Stage

Over time, the body works to create more collagen to help refine the wound’s scar. This stage is what contributes to the fading of the scar for months and years after the wound has healed.

Factors that Inhibit Proper Healing

Medications: Certain drugs can interfere with the wound healing process. Many blood thinners can promote blood flow that can lead to persistent bleeding.

Infections: If your wound becomes infected, your body will work to destroy the infection rather than working to heal the wound.

Dead Skin/Dryness: Dead skin and other foreign materials can interfere with the healing process. If the wound is exposed to air, it can also slow the healing process because skin cells and immune cells need a moist environment to heal the wound properly.

Age: As we age, the wounds typically require longer healing time.

Smoking: Smoking doesn’t only impair the healing process, but it also increases the risk of complications.

Bleeding: If the blood doesn’t have a chance to clot, the persistent bleeding prevents the wound from closing. 

Medical Conditions: Any autoimmune condition can affect the healing process, in addition to certain conditions like diabetes, varicose veins, and anemia.

Poor Diet: If the body is lacking nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, and protein, the healing process may take longer than normal.

Tips to Prevent Scarring

Keep it clean

For minor cuts and burns, the first step to avoid scarring is to keep the wound clean. Use mild soap and water to wash away dirt and bacteria.

Avoid letting the wound dry out

The wound has to be kept moist in order to promote healing and to reduce scarring. After cleaning, use a petroleum jelly to prevent scabbing.

Cover the skin

To ensure the wound stays clean and moist, you should keep it covered throughout the healing process. It’s important to clean the wound and change the bandage regularly.

Protect it

Sunscreen can help protect the newly formed skin, and can help fade the scar more quickly. Protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.

Make an Appointment at Hyper Healing

If you notice that your wound is not healing properly, or if you have suffered significant trauma to your skin that requires medical attention, Hyper Healing can help you heal faster and more completely. Schedule an appointment by calling 813-591-4570 or by contacting us online.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Items to Know

What is it? 

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is a technique used to treat a number of medical conditions. It consists of breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. This type of therapy can help treat decompression sickness, which typically occurs as a result from deep-sea diving. Other conditions that can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in the blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury. At Hyper Healing, we use Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for those seeking treatment for a variety of chronic wounds and conditions. 

Benefits 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can benefit a wide array of conditions in which the body is in need of assistance when it comes to utilizing oxygen. The body needs proper oxygen flow to function properly. When the body is injured, the tissue needs more oxygen to heal and survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection. 

At Hyper Healing, indications for this type of therapy include:

  • Diabetic ulcers of the lower extremity
  • Compromised skin graft or flap 
  • Progressive necrotizing infections
  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
  • Chronic refractory Osteomyelitis
  • Acute carbon monoxide or cyanide poisoning
  • Clostridial Myonecrosis
  • Acute blood loss anemia
  • Soft tissue Radionecrosis
  • Cerebral air or gas embolism
  • PTSD
  • Decompression illness
  • Osteoradionecrosis of any anatomical site
  • Actinomycosis
  • Crush injuries
  • Brain injury 

It could be beneficial when experiencing any of these conditions to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy. 

Treatment

During this treatment, you can expect a few things. Since hyperbaric oxygen therapy is typically an outpatient procedure, it usually does not require hospitalization of any kind. In the treatment, there is either a one-person oxygen chamber, or a room designed to treat multiple people at once. In certain cases, pure oxygen is administered through a tube directly to the patient. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the air pressure in the room is about two to three times normal air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing. Most of the time, this treatment lasts from any length of time up to two hours. 

Following treatment, you can resume normal activities. It’s important to eat a good meal and stay hydrated. Feelings of fatigue are normal. 

Results

The results of the treatment depend on your specific condition. Different conditions require a different number of sessions. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can treat certain conditions, such as decompression sickness or carbon monoxide poisoning, on its own, or it can be used in conjunction with other treatments. When it comes to non healing wounds, you’ll likely need more than one treatment session. 

At Hyper Healing, our wound care and hyperbaric medicine clinics offer new advanced therapies and progressive procedures to work in conjunction with the care from our referring providers to heal patients faster and more completely. We believe that healing chronic wounds requires a multi-dimensional approach. To schedule an appointment, please contact us or call us at 813-591-4570.

Wound Rehabilitation Involves Stem Cells

At Hyper Healing, we are always learning about new advanced therapies and progressive procedures that can contribute to healing our patients quickly and completely. One of these advanced procedures includes the use of stem cells in wound rehabilitation. We wanted to take a moment to share background information about the skin, and the definition of what constitutes a wound in order to explain how stem cells work in wound rehabilitation. 

Wound care is the core of what we do at Hyper Healing. In order to understand what makes a wound we have to start with an understanding of the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis is the top layer of the skin, below that is the dermis, which is the thickest layer of the three. The dermis is the layer of the skin that accounts for most of the skin’s mechanical properties and resilience. The bottom layer of the skin, the hypodermis, allows for insulation and cushioning between the skin and the bone and muscle. These three layers of the skin all work together to act as a barrier and to protect the body from various elements such as moisture, the cold, sun rays, germs and toxic substances. 

In order to maintain our health, we rely on our skin’s ability to heal. The wound healing process typically consists through sequential and overlapping phases of inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. This ability to heal seems to diminish with age, certain lifestyle choices such as smoking, and other underlying conditions such as diabetes. 

The point where we become wounded and our skin is unable to heal itself is when additional therapies become necessary. A wound is defined as “a disruption of normal anatomic structure and function.” If these functions are unable to restore on their own, certain procedures and surgeries may become necessary. In the past, various types of skin grafts and skin substitutes have been used in an effort to help heal wounds. While these procedures are still used today, there is also a case to be made for stem cell use in wound rehabilitation.

Stem cells are specialized, undifferentiated cells that are potent and have the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types. They are also capable of self-renewal and can undergo multiple cycles of cell division while remaining undifferentiated. Stem cells in particular can be characterized by the capacity for prolonged self renewal and the ability to differentiate into mature stages. 

When stem cells are involved in the wound healing process they can enhance the wound healing by helping to control immunity and accelerate the closure of the wound. Stem cells found in the dermis and hair follicles are typically believed to assist in wound repair up until a certain point. In cases where the loss of skin is extensive, stem cells derived from bone marrow known as mesenchymal cells, are believed to contribute to wound healing. Stem cell-assisted wound healing is also considered a potentially therapeutic approach for treating wounds that are healing impaired because they can help increase various growth factors and blood circulation.  

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, skin tissue engineering technologies can provide a number of alternatives to traditional skin grafting, it is still not considered a perfect healing treatment. Still, researchers continue to conclude that stem cells have great potential for use in accelerating wound repair, regeneration, and healing.

If you have a wound that either shows no healing progress within two weeks, or has not completely healed in six weeks, contact Hyper Healing for an evaluation to determine the underlying reasons for the delayed healing. We offer a wide variety of services to help you on your journey to complete healing. 

Prevention and Treatment Options for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers usually occur on the bottom of the foot and are the most common complication associated with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The primary cause is diabetic neuropathy (damage or malfunction in the nerves brought on by diabetes). Of all those who develop foot ulcers, around 6% will need hospitalization due to infection in the ulcer or other ulcer-related complication.

Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

As mentioned, diabetic neuropathy is the most prevalent cause of diabetic foot ulcers. This condition is due to various neurovascular and metabolic factors and is characterized by loss of feeling or pain in the feet, toes, arms, and legs due to poor circulation and nerve damage. As the condition progresses, sores and/or blisters may appear in the numb areas of the feet and heels.

Other risk factors include:

  • Poor glycemic (blood sugar) control
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetic kidney disease
  • Poor circulation
  • Previous foot ulcers or amputations

Common Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Any diabetic patient who notices any of the following symptoms on their feet should contact their doctor immediately:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Cracks
  • Sores
  • Pus
  • Open lesions
  • Odor

Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Although there are treatment options for diabetic foot ulcers, the focus should be on prevention by taking the following precautions.

  1. Check your feet for ulcers every day.
  2. Always keep your feet clean using only mild soap and water
  3. Dry your feet well to ensure you don’t leave them moist, which can cause serious problems.
  4. Keep your feet from drying out and cracking, which leaves openings for bacteria.

Treatment Options for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

The proper treatment option will depend on the severity of your condition and your medical history.

The first step in treatment is to relieve the irritation and pressure causing the ulcer. This may mean wearing specialized footgear or castings or using crutches or a wheelchair to help speed the healing process. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics and request a blood test to assess circulation in your feet.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy (aka regenerative medicine) is a promising therapeutic solution for treating diabetic foot ulcers. This revolutionary technology uses the body’s natural healing response in the infected tissue using stem cells. Stem cells are cells from which all other specialized cells are made.

Surgical Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Although most diabetic foot ulcers can be treated using non-invasive methods, sometimes surgery is necessary. Examples of surgical treatment for foot ulcers include excision or shaving of bone, as well as the correction of deformities like bunions, bony bumps, and hammertoes.

Hyper Healing Wound Care utilizes cutting-edge technology in ulcer care, including genetic skin, skin grafts, local skin, and muscle flaps to close wounds. Contact us today to learn more about the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers.

Know the Early Signs of an Infection

Cuts, scrapes, surgical scars. We all have them. Big, small, or anywhere in between, we all have any number of scars. Whether it was from an unfortunate accident with a kitchen knife or from a surgical procedure, it’s important to monitor your wound to make sure it heals properly and doesn’t become infected.

There are a number of things one can do to properly care for a wound on its own to ensure it doesn’t become infected.

Signs of Infection

There are many different signs that can point to someone having an infected wound, depending on the type of wound. A big sign, according to WebMD, is having a fever of one hundred degrees or higher and running it constantly.

Some other signs include redness, especially around the wound; skin feeling hot to the touch; pain that gets worse instead of better; and swelling around the wound area.

According to the Hyper-Healing Clinic, wounds normally heal without any help within about a week. If a wound has not completely healed in two weeks or has not shown any progress at all, then it is time to have the wound examined and evaluated by a wound specialist so they can discover the underlying cause and bring healing.

Washing your hands constantly is key. Also, change the dressing on a regular basis, and monitor any drainage from the wound. Clear drainage is best or tinged slightly yellow.

Aside from general wound treatment, there are treatment options specifically tailored to each patient and their wound. Advanced remedies typically require professional management, such as we offer at Hyper-Healing Hyperbarics. These remedies include antibiotic-impregnated specialty dressings, stem cell grafts, and biologic grafts.

These types of treatment require a level of training and expertise not found at the average clinic. We offer negative pressure wound therapy, also known as wound VAC as well as specialized compression dressings. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments will soon be available as well.

Treating the Whole Person

At Hyper-Healing Hyperbarics, doctors will treat the whole person, not just their wound. They will keep in mind any health issues the patient has, how the person got the wound, and many other factors, so they can get the patient on the path to a healed wound.

What is Hyperbaric Medicine?

In Hyperbaric chambers, a patient is placed in a chamber pressurized with an atmosphere of pure oxygen at a high pressure. It usually takes several weeks of sessions, but the results have been promising. Patients have reported their wounds have healed substantially or completely.

How to Ensure Your Wound Doesn’t Get Infected

When it comes to wound care, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing an infection is far preferable to the often-difficult fight that goes into defeating one. Some simple steps can help ensure that your wound heals quickly and that you avoid dangerous infections.

Signs of an Infection

If you suspect an infection of a serious wound, seek medical intervention immediately. The more quickly an infection is treated, the more likely the treatment will be successful. Some signs to look out for:

  • Increasing redness around the wound, or red streaks radiating from the wound site
  • Warm or red skin near and around the wound
  • An increase in drainage, especially if it’s accompanied by a foul or abnormal smell
  • Weakness, fever, chills, or increased pain
  • Wound growth, tenderness, failure to heal, or blisters or obvious dead tissue

Wash Your Hands

Sanitation is critical when it comes to wound care. Before caring for a wound, wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with antibacterial soap and warm water. Rinse well and dry your hands on a clean towel. Use gloves toprevent any cross contamination and be careful not to cough, sneeze, or otherwise contaminate the wound and clean dressings.

Change Dressings as Directed

prevent infection

Clean dressings remove drainage residue and provide a clean environment that promotes healing. It’s critical tokeep the wound site as clean as possible, so change the dressing as directed by your doctor. Be sure to keep any bodily fluids well away from the wound site. Make sure the area you have to work in when changing dressings is clean, well lit, and has a washable surface.

Care for your Supplies

Keep your supplies out of direct sun and away from excess heat. Keep them sealed in a plastic container. Never store wound care supplies on the floor. Consider using sealable plastic bags to store your dressings. Once the dressing’s been changed, place the used dressings in plastic bags, seal, and dispose of in a closed container.

Careful wound care helps prevent infection and promote healing. To learn more about wound care and treatments that can speed healing, contact us today.

When To See A Doctor For A Wound

wound

Whether you have suffered a wound due to an accident, burn, or trauma, or are dealing with an ulcer from a previous surgery, scar, or skin deterioration due to an underlying condition like diabetes or poor circulation, medical care may be necessary to speed healing and ensure a full recovery. When can you care for a wound at home, and when do you need a doctor’s care? This simple guide can help you decide.

Depth of the Wound

If the wound is more than ¼ inch deep, you may require stitches to close it. In addition, if there are jagged edges or any muscle or fat is visible or protruding, it may be necessary to have additional treatment to efficiently close and heal your injury. Don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you believe your wound is even moderately serious.

Cause of the Wound

If you suspect your wound is the result of complications of diabetes, poor circulation, or other condition, it’s important to consult a medical professional. It may be necessary to rule out underlying complications, and it may require more advanced treatment to heal. If the injury was caused by a human or animal bite, seek medical care immediately to avoid infection. Healthy adults should have a tetanus shot every ten years, in order to avoid a serious infection.

Blood Loss

Most small scrapes and cuts will stop bleeding on their own within a few minutes. If continuous pressure applied for 20 minutes does not completely stop the bleeding, it’s necessary to seek medical treatment to properly close the injury. Even if the wound is just “leaking,” it indicates damage to the underlying tissue and vascular structure that requires a medical professional’s care.

Your skin is the body’s largest organ, and it is designed to protect your body by being the first line of defense against invading germs. When the skin is compromised by an injury, it can’t do its job efficiently. Call today to learn more about treatments to speed a full recovery.