Effects of hyperbaric oxygenation on prosthetic rehabilitation of patients with unilaterale lower limb amputation
Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBO2) is gaining popularity, patients intermittently inhale 100% oxygen while the treatment chamber is pressurised to a pressure greater than sea level. This has already proved effective in treatment of diabetic foot and aiding limb salvage. Using a pressure of 1.7 atmospheres absolute patients recieve HBO2 for one hour at the same time every day for 15 days. Oxygen is given through a mask covering the mouth and nose, whilst peripheral circulation oxygen levels are monitored.
There is a significant increase in hemoglobin levels for these patients, as well as a marked decrease in complication on the stump site.HBO2 recipients also show greater strength improvements in the amputated limb compared to non recipients and are able to complete hospital rehabilitation more swiftly.
HBO2 is used as part of a multidisciplinary approach and it is important to note that in areas such as contracture avoidance and two minute walking test, results were equally positive for patients who did not receive HBO2 . This treatment is expensive but the decreased costs due to limb preservation and quicker healing make it cost effective. However, the safety and efficacy of the treatment are yet to be fully defined in post-amputation care. > From: Simanic, et al., J Undersea Hyperbaric Med 40 (2013) 289-297. All rights reserved to Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.