Types of Wounds
A resistant wound is simply a wound that will not heal using conventional wound healing processes. Some of the most common wounds treated in our Advanced Wound Care Center include:
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
These sores often occur on the feet of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Up to 25% of people with diabetes develop foot problems. Diabetic foot ulcers usually occur on the bottom of the foot. Because diabetes sometimes damages the nerves of the legs and feet, you may not feel a blister or sore when it begins to appear. If undetected, the sore may become larger and infected. This may lead to an amputation of a toe, a foot, or even a leg, which makes early treatment all the more important. If you have diabetes and have any of the risk factors mentioned, tell your doctor.
Lower Leg Ulcer
Lower leg ulcers are non-healing skin wounds on the lower leg, foot or toes. Causes of leg ulcers include trauma to the skin, poor circulation, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis (a narrowing of a vessel). Atherosclerosis can be caused by Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) which can affect the venous or arterial systems.
Venous Stasis Ulcers
Venous ulcers affect over half a million people in the United States every year and account for 80 to 90% of all leg ulcers. Venous ulcers are located below the knee and are primarily found on the inner part of the leg, just above the ankle. These ulcers are common in patients who have a history of leg swelling, varicose veins, or a history of blood clots in either the superficial or the deep veins of the legs. Ulcers may affect one or both legs.
Arterial (Ischemic) Ulcers
Arterial ulcers are usually located on the feet and often occur on the heels, tips of toes, between the toes where the toes rub against one another or anywhere the bones may protrude and rub against bed sheets, socks or shoes. Arterial ulcers also occur commonly in the nail bed if the toenail cuts into the skin or if the patient has had recent aggressive toe nail trimming or an ingrown toenail removed. Arterial ulcers are typically very painful, especially at night, and dangling the feet over the side of the bed often temporarily relieves this pain.
Bone infections are almost always caused by bacteria. Over time, the result can be destruction of the bone itself. Bone infections may occur at any age. Certain conditions increase the risk of developing such an infection, including sickle cell anemia, injury, the presence of a foreign body (such as a bullet or a screw placed to hold together a broken bone), intravenous drug use (such as heroin), diabetes, kidney dialysis, surgical procedures to bony areas, and untreated infections of tissue near a bone.
Osteoradionecrosis (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy)
Osteoradionecrosis is a condition that can occur after undergoing radiotherapy for cancer treatment. The condition describes bone cells that have died (typically in the jaw). Oftentimes, the condition doesn’t develop until several months or years after radiotherapy. Osteoradionecrosis can also occur after dental extraction. Fortunately, hyperbaric oxygen treatment can help fight this painful condition. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment can be very beneficial in treating osteoradionecrosis. (The Advanced Wound Care Center welcomes referrals from Houston periodontists with patients suffering from osteoradionecrosis.)
Gangrene is a complication of cell death (or necrosis) characterized by the decay of body tissues, which become black and smell bad. It is caused by infection, usually the result of insufficient blood supply, and is often associated with diabetes and long-term smoking. This condition is most common in the lower extremities. The best treatment for gangrene is restoration of blood flow (revascularization) of the affected organ, which can reverse some of the effects of necrosis and allow healing.
Skin Tears and Lacerations
A skin tear is a traumatic wound, which separates the first several layers of skin from one another. Skin lacerations are torn, ragged wounds that involve deeper tissue and may require suturing to assist with closure and healing.
Radiation burns occur from exposure to radiation and can be as mild as sunburn to burns caused by radiation used in the treatment of cancer. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment can be very beneficial in treating these burns.
Postoperative infections are caused by bacteria entering the surgical incision area. Postoperative wound infections can delay recovery and increase the length of a hospital stay. Multiple risk factors can contribute to an increase in postoperative wound infection, including age, concurrent diseases (such as diabetes), malnutrition, and other skin infections. Make sure you know how to prevent and recognize wound infection.
For more information about wounds treated at the Advanced Wound Care Center, call 713.356.7820.