Dysbaric osteonecrosis is a term used to describe the degenerative changes seen in the bones of individuals exposed to hyperbaric conditions. The most common areas for this affliction include joint surfaces such as the knee, hip or shoulder.An advanced condition may result in arthritis or the collapse of the joint. There is debate within the medical community as to whether this ailment may be caused traumatically or only through repeated exposure to hyperbaric conditions.
Diagnosis of the condition can only be achieved by medical testing done at the direction and oversight of qualified orthopedists, radiologists or hyperbaric physicians. It is recommended by some hyperbaric physicians that sport or “technical” divers who dive with great frequency over extended periods of time be examined by an orthopedist or radiologist if there are any concerns associated with joint pain, discomfort or disability.