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Why do pressure sores take so long to heal? (and other questions)

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    Why do pressure sores take so long to heal? (and other questions)

    I've recently been struggling with healing a stage 2 pressure sore about 4cm x 2.5cm on my left ischial tuberosity. I started bed rest 1 October and have only just started showering and and up in the chair maximum 4 hours a day. The nurses expect this type of routine and duration to continue until March.

    The sore is healed but the new skin is obviously very fragile and I'm utterly paranoid and anxious of it getting worse. The situation is bringing me an awful lot of stress.

    I have several questions because the medical team hasn't really been able to give me much information. Why does the healing process take so long, and is there anything I can do to expedite the process? My diet is pretty good and as I said above I'm only up for 4 hours a day.

    How do you cope with having your whole life on hold and simply not knowing when things will get back to normal?

    Finally, how do you gauge when is safe to increase hours or know when things are healed to a good level? I'm very tired of being in bed all day and not knowing for how long things will continue like this.

    Thanks.

    #2
    It is very frustrating to have a pressure wound and put your life on hold for healing
    pressure wounds are caused by numerous factors:
    *pressure
    *underlying bony prominences
    *constriction of blood flow
    *nutrition/protein status
    *skin condition
    *genetics
    * skin shearing/friction from clothes/seams

    New skin cells are very sensitive and easily re-opened
    I have had patients put soft dressings with foam over newly healed wounds to add a layer of protection from shearing of skin
    pbr
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      #3
      Thanks for your response. I'm finding it very hard to gauge the sore area as although I've been told it's healed, it is of course still quite red and fragile.

      Very difficult to know how much is too much, and how much the skin can handle.

      Are there any tips for monitoring / managing the area beyond frequent pressure relieving and limited time up?

      Thanks.

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        #4
        Pressure relief weight shifts every 15 minutes. High protein diet with liquids. Multivitamin w/minerals and Vitamin C. ZinC and biotin helpful. It takes a long time to heal because the tissue died. So tissue around it is regranulating and filling in-which is a slow process. And the new tissue dies very easily. SCI individuals do not have the best perfusion in the skin below the level of injury. CWO
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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          #5
          EdBlack, I feel for you as pressure wounds can have a devastating effect on your life.

          I had a stage 4 pressure wound on my left ischiam several years ago and spent 3 months in hospital while it healed. I didn't have flap surgery as it's not always successful and I couldn't have taken more months in hospital.

          I still have a deep depression in my skin, but have managed to keep the skin in good condition since being in hospital. What has helped me the most is having overhead hoists installed in the bedroom and bathroom, so I don't have to do any transfers.
          This is what originally caused my pressure wound ..... the skin being sheared by constant transfers.

          I know men have longer arms than women and you may be able to do a transfer, without shearing on your skin, but I was unable to transfer without putting pressure on my wound area.

          I apply cream to the area each day after my shower and this helps to keep the skin in good condition. I also wear a pad, which provides an added layer of softness as well.

          Not sure if any of this will help you, but I thought you may like to hear how someone else has managed their pressure area.

          Good luck and I wish you well in your recovery.

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