Strategies for Amputation Prevention with HBOT

Strategies for Amputation Prevention with HBOT

Doctors, Patients, And Care Teams Agree That Prioritizing Diabetic Foot And Lower Extremity Health Can Prevent Amputations

But what are the leading causes of lower extremity wounds and amputations? Are chronic foot wounds and lower extremity amputations treatable and preventable? Are treatment solutions accessible? 

At CūtisCare, our team is frequently asked those questions by patients and wound care teams of all sizes and scopes.

And in this post, we’ll provide answers. So let’s start by shedding some light on the magnitude of the problem. 

There Are Approximately 150,000 Lower Extremity Amputations In The United States Every Year And the vast majority of those amputations are caused, or exacerbated by, diabetic foot ulcers.

Here’s what the National Institutes of Health had to say in a recent article: 

Of all the lower extremity amputations in persons with diabetes, 85% are preceded by a foot ulcer. The mortality at 5 years for an individual with a diabetic foot ulcer is 2.5 times as high as the risk for an individual with diabetes who does not have a foot ulcer. 

That’s way too many amputations and elevated mortality rates. In order to significantly reduce the number of amputations each year, we’re helping our partners treat the three primary root causes of chronic lower extremity ulcers, and more specifically, diabetic foot ulcers:

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Soft Tissue Sepsis   

These Three Diseases Cause Reduced Blood Flow In The Lower Leg, Foot, And Toes.

The adverse effects of PAD, most commonly stemming from atherosclerosis, can be significantly exacerbated by diabetic neuropathy through a loss of the healthy sensation of pain. Diabetes also affects the blood vessels at a cellular level, causing the vessels to become more brittle. This brittleness increases the chances of the patient developing PAD in the lower legs and feet.   

Sepsis can also manifest in untreated wounds due to tissue ischemia as healthy blood flow and antimicrobial activity is substantially curtailed in the lower extremities as a result of PAD. 

This vicious cycle of disease often results in amputation, especially if there’s not an efficacious treatment program from a multidisciplinary team after early diagnosis.

We’ve discussed the challenges of PAD and diabetic foot wounds, now let’s talk about solutions.

HBOT As A CMS-Approved Modality For Chronic Lower Extremity Wounds   

HBOT is a proven, non-invasive, low-risk therapy that can significantly reduce the risk of lower extremity amputations. 

The process of breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber can promote healing and slow, or even reverse, the pathophysiological processes associated with PAD and chronic foot wounds. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases dissolved oxygen concentration in the blood and the amount of oxygenated plasma dissolved in damaged tissue. The overall result is increased oxygenated blood flow and antimicrobial activity, increased growth factor production, and some potentially excellent outcomes for patients and wound care teams. 

Would You And Your Wound Care Team Like To Hear More About HBOT As A Life-Changing Therapy?

Maybe you’re interested in becoming a wound care center of excellence in your community or building on your existing wound care capabilities..

Regardless of where you are in your journey toward wound care excellence, we’d love to share our 25 years of knowledge and experience with you. 

Get in touch with our team of HBOT experts today.