Non-healing diabetic leg and foot wounds and other selected problem wounds

Non healing diabetic foot wounds

Every year, 1.9% of patients with diabetes develop foot ulcers. Of those, 15% to 20% undergo an amputation within 5 years of ulcer onset. During their lifetimes, an estimated 25% of diabetic patients develop a foot ulcer.

Typically, HBO therapy is given 4-7 days a week for at least 20 treatments, although the number of treatments varies from 14 to 40. HBO therapy is an adjunctive therapy and is used in conjunction with standard wound care treatments.

HBO therapy improves tissue oxygenation by increasing the amount of oxygen dissolved in the plasma, thus stimulating healing of chronic diabetic ulcers. Oxygen is essential to wound healing, playing an important role in each wound healing stage. The wound healing rate relates directly to the level of tissue oxygenation; wound ischemia is the most common cause of failure of wounds to heal. Oxygen is perfused into the end-arterioles and tissues, resulting in increased chances of healing.

Many studies have found beneficial effects of HBO therapy. Multiple theories address the HBO therapy mechanism. Known benefits of HBOT in wound healing include enhanced periwound tissue oxygenation, decreased edema, enhanced oxidative killing of bacteria, enhanced cellular energy production, antibiotic potentiation, neoangiogenesis promotion, enhanced epithelial migration, improved collagen production, and enhanced granulation-tissue formation. The effects of cytokines, prostaglandins, and nitric oxide on tissues also may play a major role in how HBO therapy works. Some literature suggests HBOT mobilizes stem cells derived from bone through a nitric oxide–mediated pathway; these stem cells then migrate to the ulcer and promote healing.


Click here to see How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works


Additional indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be discussed with your doctor and the Hyperbaric Medicine Team. Hyperbaric oxygen  therapy is usually used as an adjunct to additional care the patient is receiving. Additional treatments may also include antibiotic therapy, nutritional support, and surgical procedures, if indicated.  Our Hyperbaric Medicine Team will work closely with your physician(s) to coordinate any additional care needed.

Contact the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at MemorialCare, Long Beach Medical Center for more information.


MemorialCare, Long Beach Medical Center
Department of Hyperbaric Medicine
2801 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, California 90806

Telephone: (562) 933-6960

 Fax: (562) 933-6060