Editorial – Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention

Dear Colleagues,

I embarked on my career as a Spinal Interventional Neuroradiologist in the Neuroradiology Department of the Faculty of Radiology at Spedali Civili Hospital in Brescia in 1986. Since 1998 I have been in charge of the Neuroradiology Service at Brescia City Clinical Institute.

My main focus has always been minimally invasive treatments for spinal disorders.

I first encountered oxygen-ozone therapy in 1993. Fascinated from the start by this new discipline and its brilliant therapeutic results, I dedicated an increasing amount of time to its study. Today, my work and that of my colleagues in the Italian Federation of Oxygen-Ozone Therapy has been rewarded by the publication of papers in international journals reflecting the inclusion of oxygen-ozone therapy among the armamentarium of interventional spinal procedures. Our work is based the practical application of theoretical models following on from biological experiments on animals and in vitro studies on oxygen’s mechanism of action in an attempt to escape from the confines of evidence-based medicine.

History teaches us that some scientific discoveries come about by chance. Examples are Fleming and penicillin or the chance discovery of X-rays by the German physicist Röntgen while experimenting with a cathode ray tube. However, the simple discovery of a revolutionary therapy must necessarily be followed by studies designed to make ongoing improvements to the treatment in question. The history of ozone therapy is similar to that of many other scientific revolutions: an initial intuition that subsequently developed thanks to some of the most brilliant minds in Italian neuroradiology.

Oxygen discolysis is now the first-choice treatment in our department for patients with herniated disc. A simple therapy, it carries no risks or contraindications in expert hands. Treatment can be intradiscal or intraforaminal and is administered under CT or fluoroscopic guidance. Patients benefit from the dual action of ozone with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on both the symptoms of disc herniation and on the cause, i.e. the herniated disc itself where ozone accelerates disc dehydration.

In conjunction with the Italian Federation, we have organized training courses to go beyond the realm of intuition and compare experiences in the world of oxygen-ozone therapy backed by scientific evidence and reproducible techniques.

I am currently Secretary of the World Federation of Ozone Therapy, an International Scientific Society open to all those willing to work together, exchange ideas and share the results of their work and experiences.  Above all, the Society welcomes those humble enough to ask “why?”

Matteo Bonetti, Chief of Dept. Neuroradiology Istituto Clinico Città di Brescia, Italy