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!
Lisa St John MS, Clinic Director; Dr Jeffrey Kaplan, Medical Director; Laura Jean RN, Director of Patient Care