• Ankle Sprain- Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

One of the most common injuries for which people seek help from physical therapists is the “sprained ankle.” Almost everyone has experienced this painful wrenching of the tendons supporting the ankle bones at some time or another. A sprained ankle can cause a patient to be unable to run or walk for a period of time, or may cause serious pain when engaged in everyday activity.

A sprained ankle seriously limits a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Fortunately, one of the best treatments available for sprained ankles is also one of the easiest to use and least invasive—the Hyperbaric Chamber.

emedsim sprain in anklehyperbaric chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen Chambers work so well that several major sports teams have installed them in their locker rooms.According to simple gas laws, in order to increase solubility, or absorption, of a gas such as oxygen, pressure must be increased.Hyperbaric means “high pressure,” and the chamber works by raising the air pressure around the patient, forcing higher levels of oxygen to be absorbed by the blood plasma and in turn pushing the oxygen deep into the injured tissues.

The effects of the hyperbaric chamber can be truly astounding. While proponents admit it does not heal injuries which will not otherwise mend on their own, it does speed up the rate at which these injuries heal naturally. Some sprained ankles which would take ten days to heal without hyperbaric treatment heal in five days with the inclusion of hyperbaric therapy.


Hyperbaric Oxygenation (HBO)has been proposed as a part of the overall treatment since the mid 1960s and several studies have reported beneficial effects.

Hyperbaric oxygen helps reduce morbidity, disfiguring sequelae and further need for corrective surgery.


  • Osteoradionecrosis: Most commonly mandibular necrosis.
  • Soft tissue necrosis: Laryngeal, head and neck, chest wall necrosis.
  • Other abdominal and pelvic injuries (vagina, pelvic bone, groin).
  • Radiation induced optic neuropathy.
  • Radiation induced retinopathy.
  • Central nervous system.


Serious late radiation complications frequently require surgery within the irradiated field where the likelihood of postoperative complications is about 50%. By either avoiding surgery or supporting surgical healing, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can significantly reduce the financial and human costs of radiation complications.


  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a safe therapy with very few and minor side effects.
  • The successful use of HBOT in the treatment of radio-induced tissue lesions will reduce morbidity, disabling or disfiguring sequelae and further need for corrective or demolitive surgery.
  • Addition of HBOT obviates the need for frequent surgical procedures, promotes healing and early mobilization of the patient.
  • It reduces length of hospitalization and thereby overall treatment and rehabilitation costs.
  • In some specific malignant cancers the addition of Hyperbaric Oxygen as an adjunct to radiotherapy may lead to significantly higher cure rates.


"Love it! "This is the kind of educational tool needed for hyperbaric, covers the entire process in a systematic fashion that can only improve your skill set"! "

- Tim Mayhugh LPN, CHT, CHWS

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