Diabetic foot wounds are consequences of the neuropathy and the small and large vessel disease that complicate diabetes. At the cellular level, the result is hypoxia which impairs wound healing. Hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) may be a useful adjuvant to wound care. It leads to enhanced oxygenation of the affected tissues, has an antiseptic effect, reduces edema, and accelerates collagen production and angiogenesis, thus enhancing tissue repair. 14 diabetics with chronic nonhealing wounds which did not respond to treatment for at least 3 months were treated by HBO. All had palpable pedal pulses. Transcutaneous measurements of tissue pO2 showed elevation from 20 +/- 10 mm Hg during air breathing to 643 +/- 242 mm Hg while breathing pure oxygen at 2.5 ATA. They were treated with HBO in 56 +/- 10 consecutive HBO sessions. In 11 there was complete wound healing, while in 1 there was partial response, in 1 minimal response, and in 1 a transient response. HBO is useful in chronic nonhealing wounds of the diabetic foot and of the diabetic foot with impending amputation. It is a safe mode of therapy, but further studies are required to establish its efficacy and to ascertain which diabetic patients and wounds will benefit the most from it.
Weisz, Ramon, Melamed, , , , , , (1993). [Treatment of the diabetic foot by hyperbaric oxygen]. Harefuah, 1993 Jun;124(11):678-81, 740. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8344624