Osteomyelitis-- Bone Infection

HBOT can help to heal bone disorders by stimulating both the osteoclasts and the osteoblasts. This helps and leads to the re-absorption of dead bone and the creation of new bone. In addition, HBOT stimulates the production of new blood vessels, so that the growing bone receives a steady supply of nutrients, including oxygen. This blood vessel network does two other things: it helps support the function of the osteoclasts, and brings infection fighting white blood cells to the area. Osteomyelitis is a bacterial infection that usually involves both the outer layers of the bone and the inner bone marrow. Staphylococci, is a common form of bacteria that can cause infections ranging from pimples to meningitis. Chronic osteomyelitis may follow an acute form or may develop over time; this is also when the acute form is not completely cured by treatment. Long term Osteomyelitis which in some cases continues for years. Refractory osteomyelitis is a term referring to the condition of bone infection that did not respond to either surgical or antibiotic therapy. Part of the difficultly in treating osteomyelitis lies in the fact that it causes a lack of oxygen in the tissues. HBOT, by providing forced oxygenation, helps fight this disorder along with antibiotic therapy and or surgical intervention. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps preserve healthy bone, restore, and help build new bone and helps with the immune system. In some cases, in both bones and wounds, HBOT draws a clear line by which the surgeon can aid in the removal of dead or diseased bones. These types of infections can occur sometimes in the extraction of a tooth.

Benefits From Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

  • HBOT increases oxygen tension in infected tissue including bone, to normal or above normal levels. Can increase oxygen saturations of plasma around infected areas that have some remaining degree of diffusion, encouraging healing.
  • Provides adequate oxygen for fibroblasts-cells that make connected tissues/ and so promote healing and hypoxic tissue. Cells that remove dead bone (osteoclasts) need oxygen to function, and intermittent oxygen tensions of 30-40mmHg are needed to grow new blood vessels.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen is bacteriostatic (bacteria stopping). Neutrophils require PO2 30-40mmHg to do their work against bacteria.
  • Augments in effect of antibiotics such as Aminoglycosides, quinolones, and some sulfonamides.
  • Prevents polymorphonuclar (PMN) leukocytes (a kind of white cell) from adhering to damaged blood vessel linings, increasing the inflammation that often accompanies surgical treatment for refractory osteomyelitis.
  • Moorey et al (1979) treated 40 cases of Chronic osteomyelitis using HBOT, with 89.5% of these patients becoming free from clinical signs of osteomyelitis.
  • Jamil et al (2000) showed marked improvement for 9 patients with osteomyelitis of the Jaw.