The statistics are alarming: Chronic wounds, wounds that do not heal properly or completely during a timeframe of four weeks, affect nearly 5 million Americans, with 500,000 new cases diagnosed every year. The mortality and morbidity correlated with chronic, non-healing wounds are high and can limit mobility, cause severe pain and discomfort, and promote complications that can create a greater risk of infection.
What Causes Chronic Wounds?
Typically when we experience an injury, the injury heals by itself, naturally and without further medical treatment. Diabetics and patients with blood clotting disorders or an underlying medical condition that impairs blood flow to the lower extremities are at risk for slow-healing wounds, which are susceptible to dangerous infections. If left untreated, these chronic wounds can have serious health consequences that may affect your quality of life.
Chronic conditions that usually require a more aggressive medical approach include:
Pressure sores/ulcers resulting from excessive strain that is put on areas where the bone is close to the skin’s surface, prolonged bed rest or immobility
Diabetic foot ulcers associated with decreased blood supply and nerve damage
Wounds caused by rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or other autoimmune disorders
Non-healing or infected postoperative incisions
Trauma from an injury
Edema or swelling, which can both cause a wound or impede healing
Painful, open skin infections accompanied by changes in color, drainage or distinct odor
Whatever the cause, if you have a wound that has not shown significant improvement in a month or has yet to heal after eight weeks, it is time for you to see a podiatric physician.
Most wounds heal easily within four weeks. However, chronic and complicated wounds that haven’t shown significant improvement over a period of a month or more require specialized care that only an experienced podiatrist can offer.
Dr. Richard Hochman, a recognized expert in the care of chronic foot and ankle wounds including diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, infected surgical incisions and more, will evaluate your needs and develop an individualized care plan to deliver high-quality clinical outcomes. Non-invasive treatment options offered in our office, and close to home, include platelet-rich plasma or amniotic stem cell injections either on a stand-alone basis or can be combined with collagen skin grafts for optimal results.
If you are suffering from a lesion, cut, or any type of open sore that refuses to heal on your foot or ankle, please contact our office at (305) 442-1780 to discuss your options.