August 29, 2017
Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone or bone marrow usually caused by bacteria, mycobacteria or fungi. It spreads through the blood and it has been identified as one of the most common infections in humans.
The probable causes are three:
- By direct route, due to an open fracture, a surgery or some object that perforates the bone.
-For an infection transmitted through the blood (if another part of the body is infected).
-For an infection in nearby areas, such as soft tissues or joint prostheses.
When the bone is infected, the bone marrow, which is an internal soft tissue, becomes inflamed and presses against the outer wall. In this way the blood vessels of the marrow undergo compression and the blood supply to the bone is reduced or interrupted. If the blood does not flow properly, there is a risk of bone necrosis, which is bone death.
What are the symptoms?
In the case of childhood osteomyelitis, it is more common to manifest in the long bones, while in adults it usually presents in the feet, spine and hips, that is, vertebrae and pelvis.
High fever (above 38 °), chills, sweating or malaise are some of the most common symptoms. The patient can also lose weight or feel severe pain in the infected bone, which complicates his mobility. If the infection progresses it could be localized inflammation, reddened and hot area.
How is it diagnosed and what is its treatment?
There are several studies that help diagnose osteomyelitis. A high level of leukocytes in a blood test indicates inflammation, but it is not conclusive.
Also, x-rays, tomographies and resonances can show significant changes, identify infections and abscesses.
In many cases the doctor asks for analysis of pus, synovial fluid and bone to detect the microorganism that caused the infection. The most usual treatment is with antibiotics for a long time and in some cases a surgical intervention may be necessary.
However, different scientific studies show what are the benefits of treatment with hyperbaric oxygenation. The use of a hyperbaric chamber produces a strong hyperoxia and a greater availability of oxygen in tissues, triggering different physiological effects.
In the particular case of infections, it achieves:
-To stimulate the synthesis of collagen and new blood vessels, fundamental to repair tissues.
-Improve the oxygenation of tissues.
-Increase the bactericidal activity of white blood cells, which prevents or combats infections.
-Decrease pain as it is anti-inflammatory.
-In addition, it preserves grafts of skin, flaps and other tissues in which the circulation is reduced and reverts the damage to tissues exposed by radiation therapy.
Treatment with Hyperbaric Oxygenation (HBOT) is a non-invasive method that consists of supplying oxygen in high concentrations in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber at 1.4 ATM atmospheres. Inside the chamber the patient breathes 100% oxygen. Under these conditions, oxygen is transported through the blood, reaching, in greater concentration, all the tissues of the body, even those damaged.
Can HBOT prevent infections?
Yes. Hyperbaric oxygenation is beneficial to prevent some diseases.
According to Dr. Mariana Cannelloto- medical director of BioBarica- HBOT: "modulates the immune response (activates the defense system), promotes the secretion of serotonin (which is the body's own antidepressant), induces a calm and restful sleep, decreases stress by regulating the release of catecholamines adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine. It provides energy and reduces the effects of fatigue, chronic fatigue and anxiety. " The body is healthier and less prone to infections.