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.