Long term consequences of radiation: Chronic wounds and bone defects

In spite of modern radiotherapy, it is still possible that chronic soft tissue and bone defects occur as late effects of treatment of head and neck tumours. They are known as osteoradionecrosis or radioosteitis. Irradiation reduces the vessel density and can lead to oxygen deficiency (hypoxia) in bone cells and tissue. The consequences are chronic wounds with a fistula, osteitis or so-called spontaneous fractures without external influences that hamper further treatment options: transplants do not heal and infections are not brought under control.

In osteoradionecrosis and radioosteitis: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy brings infections to a halt and regenerates cells and tissue

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy – HBOT – offers an excellent opportunity to regenerate the damaged bone cells and the affected tissue. Through its method – increasing the oxygen partial pressure in the blood – the cells can resume their function. Capillary and tissue grow again, or even form anew. HBOT not only helps to alleviate the symptoms or to allow more for the treatment necessary surgical procedures. Oftentimes osteoradionecrosis and radioosteitis disappear completely and permanently as long term consequences of radiation.

HBOT: effective and economic for osteoradionecrosis and radioosteitis

For the regeneration of cells, capillaries and tissue the body needs time. Hence, with osteoradionecrosis and radioosteitis 20-30 treatment sessions are usually necessary to achieve an adequate level of healing. A precise assessment of the healing chances associated with HBOT treatment is possible using MRI scans prior to therapy. HBOT is not only clinically effective but also an economic therapy for osteoradionecrosis or radioosteitis as long term consequences of radiation: For 60-97 percent of patients, who had not responded to  expensive surgical procedures and antibiotic treatments for years, it was possible to bring osteonecrosis and / or the infection successfully to a halt.

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