A review of the Marx protocols: prevention and management of osteoradionecrosis by combining surgery and hyperbaric oxygen therapy

SADJ. 1998 Oct;53(10):469-71.


The 30/10 protocol is employed in the treatment of established osteoradionecrosis. No surgery should be attempted before the first 30 HBO treatments have provided sufficient angiogenesis to support surgical wounding. After 30 treatments surgical management can be staged according to the extent of improvement achieved after HBO and the size of sequestrum or area of osteolysis. If the ORN extends to the inferior border of the mandible or if it manifests as an orocutaneous fistula or pathological fracture, discontinuity resection of the necrotic bone and soft tissue will be required to resolve the disease. Unless HBO and surgery are combined in the management of ORN, the results are not long lasting or satisfactory. Even though resection of stage three ORN seems unduly aggressive, it has stood the test of time. By using the Marx protocols in the treatment of ORN, more than 95 per cent of patients can be successfully cured of their disease with predictable, functional and aesthetically acceptable outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cranial Irradiation / adverse effects*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Mandible / radiation effects
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Mandibular Diseases / etiology
  • Mandibular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Mandibular Diseases / therapy*
  • Osteoradionecrosis / classification
  • Osteoradionecrosis / etiology
  • Osteoradionecrosis / therapy*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Wound Healing