Struggling with a wound that is slow to heal? While healing sounds simple and natural, it doesn’t always go smoothly.
Many factors play into how quickly and easily a wound heals, including how deep and large the wound is, how clean it is and the general health of the patient. In fact, patients with diabetes, circulatory problems, infections, arthritis and other autoimmune disorders may struggle with wounds that would ordinarily heal quickly in a healthy individual.
HonorHealth has a multi-disciplinary team of wound care experts that can help. Sean Brimacombe, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon and wound specialist at HonorHealth.
“We deal with all acute and chronic wounds, from head to toe,” explains Dr. Brimacombe.
When to see a wound care specialist
Many patients take care of small wounds at home by washing the wound, applying antibiotic ointment and keeping it bandaged. However, there are signs to watch for that indicate you should see a wound care specialist to have a wound evaluated and treated.
If a wound is gaping, very deep or won’t stop bleeding, it’s a good idea to get it checked out right away. In addition, you should see a doctor if you experience a bite by an animal or a human or are injured by a rusty object, as you may require additional treatment.
It’s important to look for signs of infection, too. This includes an increase in pain or swelling, odor, drainage or an expanding area of redness around the wound site. Other signs of infection include a wound that is warm to the touch or a fever above 100.4 degrees. An infected wound has the potential to become a medical emergency, so see a doctor right away if you experience these symptoms.
If your wound simply lingers for weeks without healing, it has become a chronic condition and warrants a visit to a doctor.
“A wound care specialist is equipped to help with any kind of hard-to-heal wound, whether it’s chronic or acute,” explains Dr. Brimacombe.
Treating your wounds
HonorHealth wound care experts offer a range of treatment options for patients, whether they have a simple or complex wound. First, the wound care team will review your medical history to determine why your wound is not healing. Your wound will be evaluated, and you may also have diagnostic tests or lab work done.
Then, the HonorHealth wound care team will partner with you to develop a treatment plan that starts you on your road to healing. Treatment options include:
- Wound debridement
- Negative pressure wound therapy
- Biologic therapies and dressings
- Limb salvage
- Arterial and venous angiography
- Doppler evaluation
- Transcutaneous oxygen monitoring
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Infusion services
- Radiology imaging
- Diabetic and nutritional counseling
- Home health services
Getting back to what you love
Wounds that are slow to heal can get in the way of pursuing your passions, but HonorHealth’s wound care experts are there to help at any time.
“We are often the last resort, but we’re happy to be the first resort,” says Dr. Brimacombe. “Our goal is to heal your wound and get you back to your day-to-day life.”