What Is a Non-Healing Wound?
A non-healing or chronic wound is defined as a wound that does not improve after four weeks or does not heal in eight weeks. These include:
- Diabetic foot ulcers*
- Venous-related ulcerations
- Non-healing surgical wounds
- Pressure ulcers
- Wounds related to metabolic disease
- Wounds that repeatedly break down
*If you have diabetes, any sore or tender spot on the foot warrants immediate attention from a physician, regardless of how long the wound has been present. Inova Wound Healing physicians have expertise in treating diabetes-related foot wounds.
Why Should I Be Concerned About a Wound That Is Not Healing?
Infection is the greatest risk from non-healing wounds. Each of us is exposed every day to common bacteria such as staphylococcus and pseudomonas. These bacteria are present on our skin and in the environment around us. They don't present a problem when we are healthy and wound free. But an open wound increases the risk for infection, which can lead to serious conditions, even the loss of a limb.
Symptoms of an Infected Wound
A qualified physician who deals with non-healing wounds is your best resource for questions about potential infection from a wound that is not healing properly. Symptoms that may indicate an infection include:
- Increasing pain
- Redness and warmth around the wound
- "Oozing" from the wound
- An odor coming from the wound
Common Places for Non-Healing Wounds
- Feet, ankles, heels and calves
- For people unable to walk, common places include hips, thighs and buttocks
Diagnosis and Treatment
Our physicians and staff use one or more of the following diagnostic treatment options to tailor a program just for you:
- Laboratory evaluation
- Vascular studies
- Nuclear medicine
- Radiology exams
- Skin or tissue grafting
- Medications and dressings to enhance wound healing
- Physical therapy
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)
- Nutritional management
- Transcutaneous oximetry
- Diabetes education