Hyperbaric Oxygen Heals Osteomyelitis


Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone or bone marrow. It is called refractory osteomyelitis when the bacteria continues to reside in the bone, even after antibiotics and surgery have been attempted to cure it Refractory means it is in the chronic stage. Refractory osteomyelitis is often treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), after other methods to heal the bone have failed. This is usually after a period of 4 to 6 weeks of infection and when the other therapies such as antibiotics and debridement (removal of infected or dead tissue and bone) could not clear out the infection. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is often used as a therapy, coupled with oral or IV antibiotics and debridement. There are however some bones that cannot be debrided, and in such situations, antibiotics and HBOT are used alone. There is approximately a 50% cure rate for bone infections using surgery and antibiotics alone. When hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used, the success rate rises to approximately 86%.

HBOT is considered an effective, painless and low risk treatment that supercharges bones and tissues with oxygen and triggers a variety of healing pathways. Oxygen heals. We have seen many bone infections in our clinics over the last 20 years. We have treated people with infections in the face, orbit, ear, skull, vertebrae, chest, ribs, pelvis, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes. Most of these patients have healed completely when treated with HBOT.

Our founder, Lisa St. John used HBOT to heal the infected bones in her face, which turned her into such a convert that she decided to put her MS in Public Health from Harvard to use, and started Bay Area Hyperbarics! Give us a call and we will discuss any questions or concerns you might have, and see if HBOT is right for you or your loved one. It is time to stop the suffering and heal naturally with oxygen!

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How Hyperbarics Helps

  • Kills bacteria and infections and makes antibiotics more effective
  • Builds new blood vessels
  • Increases blood supply to tissues and bones
  • Supercharges the bone and tissues with oxygen
  • Regrows new blood vessels and improves blood flow
  • Grows new tissue, skin and collagen
  • Often completely heals bone infections

Patients: Get started with Hyperbarics

Give us a call

Did a physician refer you? If so, they can download and fax us back a patient referral form. If not, our medical staff will discuss whether hyperbarics is right for you.

We talk with your insurance

Our medical staff contacts Medicare or private insurance to receive authorization and create a plan with you.

You get on the road to recovery

We do a medical intake, explain everything you need to know, and you get started on your hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions

Providers: Refer a Patient


Providers: Refer a Patient

You submit patient’s information

As a provider, your office fills out and faxes back the Patient Referral Form. Have questions? Call us!

We get authorizations

We make sure the patient understands treatment and then follow the prescribed protocol to get the patient on the road to recovery!

Patient starts HBOT

Our medical staff meets with the patient to ensure that HBOT is appropriatre, and contacts Medicare or private insurance to receive authorization.

Still looking for answers?

To learn more about HBOT, take a look at our FAQs.

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  • What is Hyperbaric Medicine?

    Hyperbaric medicine, also called hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT, is a medical treatment where a patient sits or lies in pressurized chamber and breathes 100% oxygen. In HBOT, oxygen dissolves into the blood, thus raising the oxygen concentration to very high levels.This increased oxygen is a primary building block for tissues, muscle, and bone repair. Among other benefits, it kicks off cell reproduction, heals injuries and infection more rapidly, and decreases inflammation.

  • Can HBOT help Neuropathy?

    Hyperbaric treatments help heal neuropathy by regrowing small blood vessels and nerves that have died from disease, injuries from radiation and aging. Patients often experience numbness and or pain when they start treatment. Hyperbaric treatments most often bring back sensation and make, for example, walking easier and more enjoyable.

  • Does HBOT kill cancer cells?

    Current research indicates that hyperbaric oxygen does not kill cancer cells. However, there has been a small amount of research indicating that hyperbaric oxygen might reduce the size of certain tumors. Also, there has been a study on mice using hyperbaric oxygen, along with a ketogenic diet, to reduce tumors. Hyperbaric oxygen causes many different healing modalities to kick into gear. Could its effect on strengthening the immune system inhibit the growth of cancer cells? Nobody knows. There are numerous studies conclusively showing that hyperbaric oxygen does not encourage cancer cells or tumors to grow. Some patients claim the hyperbaric oxygen makes them feel a lot more comfortable and functional after chemotherapy and also during healing. Note that some chemotherapy drugs are not to be used with hyperbaric oxygen, as the chemotherapy drugs can be enhanced and thus become toxic. A good hyperbaric oxygen facility (such as Bay Area Hyperbarics) will always call the chemotherapy manufacturer to ensure that hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be helpful and not damaging to the patient.

  • Why would a physician consider HBOT?

    A physician would consider using hyperbaric chamber therapy under a variety of situations. Physicians most typically refer patients to hyperbarics when the patient is not healing with traditional medical interventions and hyperbaric chamber therapy is approved by Medicare for this condition.

    Some patients experience significant unresolved pain and unremitting disease states that the mechanisms of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a hyperbaric chamber are known to affect, such as the down regulation of inflamatory genes. For an example, some patients have experienced severe, unremitting hives with itching, which did not improve with any specialists interventions.

    Some physicians will consider hyperbaric chamber therapy if the patient has no other good avenues for improving their failing health, and they know the hyperbaric chamber therapy is safe and will not harm the patient.

  • What is the CPT code for HBOT?

    The CPT code for HBOT is G0277.

  • What is Hypebaric Oxygen Therapy?

    Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HB0T) is a medical treatment where you inhale 100% oxygen in a chamber with increased atmospheric pressure. HBOT injects 400x the oxygen into your tissues and bones and mobilizes stem cells. It regrows healthy tissues in the brain, blood vessels, skin and bones. It also reduces pain and swelling, and speeds recovery.

    It is simple, effective and painless.

  • Does Medicare cover HBOT?

    Medicare covers Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for approved conditions, and many insurance companies also cover approved conditions. If your condition is not approved by your insurance, we can discuss our special rates. Give us a call at (408) 356–7438. We are happy to discuss your options with you.

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