Purpose: Traumatic crush injuries of the lower limb often accompany severe complications. The incorporation of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to standard trauma care may have the potential to diminish injury-related complications and improve outcome in such cases. This systematic review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the management of severe lower limb soft tissue injuries. Methods: The electronic databases Medline, Embase and Cochrane Library were searched to identify studies involving patients with crush-associated sever lower limb soft tissue injuries who received hyperbaric oxygen therapy in conjunction with standard trauma care. Relevant data on type of injury, hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol and outcome related to wound healing were extracted. Results: In total seven studies met the inclusion criteria, involving 229 patients. The studies included two randomized clinical trials, one retrospective cohort study, three case series and one case report. The randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial showed a significant increase in wound healing and decrease in the need for additional surgical interventions in the patient group receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy when compared to those undergoing sham therapy. The randomized non-placebo-controlled clinical trial revealed that early hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduces tissue necrosis and the likelihood of long-term complications. The retrospective cohort study indicated that hyperbaric oxygen therapy effectively reduces infection rates and the need for additional surgical interventions. The case series and case report presented beneficial results with regard to wound healing when hyperbaric oxygen therapy was added to the treatment regimen. Conclusion: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally considered a safe therapeutic intervention and seems to have a beneficial effect on wound healing in severe lower limb soft tissue injuries when implemented as an addition to standard trauma care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of trauma
Early online date2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


  • Hyperbaric oxygenation
  • Lower extremity
  • Open fractures
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Wound and injuries

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