Osteomyelitis is a purulent inflammation
of bone most often caused by bacteria and occasionally by other microorganisms. Its symptoms include pain, localized redness,
swelling, an open wound with drainage, and fever. Not all persons exhibit each
symptom. Osteomyelitis may hide for years without symptoms.
Osteomyelitis is sometimes a complication
of surgery or injury, although infection can also reach bone tissue through the bloodstream. Both the bone and the bone marrow
may be infected. Treatment is by antibiotics, immobilization of the affected bone bed by cast, or bed rest, and surgery may
be necessary to remove dead bone tissue.
Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis is a persistent and sometimes incapacitating infection of bone and bone marrow that doesn’t
respond to traditional care. It is often a recurring condition because of the difficulty in treating acute osteomyelitis,
or may be the result of infected hardware (metal plates, screws) used to stabilize bones during surgery.
Hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT) is used
to treat Chronic Osteomyelitis that hasn't responded to traditional care. It stimulates the immune system, particularly the
leukocyte function to scavenge bacteria and dispose of dead and dying bone tissue, and increases
oxidative killing of anaerobic bacteria by increasing oxygen free radicals. HBOT stimulates the normal remodeling of bone
(osteoclast function), reduces edema by vasoconstriction, and helps restore normal
blood flow and tissue repair through neovascularization and angiogenesis. It is used as an adjunct to antibiotics, debridement, nutritional support, and reconstructive
surgery and can often save life or limb.