There are seven potential complications of wound healing: infection, inflammation, ischemia, poor nutrition, medications, age, and obesity.
Infection: Bacteria can enter the body through a break in the skin and cause an infection. The body’s immune system fights the infection and white blood cells flood the area. This can lead to swelling, redness, heat, and pain.
Inflammation: Inflammation is a normal response to injury or infection. It helps to protect the wound from further damage and promotes healing. However, if inflammation persists for too long it can delay healing or even cause tissue damage.
Ischemia: Ischemia occurs when there is not enough blood flow to the wound site. This can delay healing or even cause tissue death (gangrene). Ischemia is a common problem in diabetic wounds and vascular ulcers.
Poor Nutrition: Poor nutrition can delay healing by reducing the number of nutrients available for cell repair and growth. Malnutrition is common in patients who are elderly or have chronic illnesses such as cancer or HIV/AIDS. Medications: Some medications (such as steroids) can suppress the immune system and slow down wound healing. Others (such as blood thinners.
Infection. The most common cause of delayed healing in chronic wounds is infection
Infections are a common cause of delayed healing in chronic wounds. Infection can delay healing by causing the wound to become inflamed, increasing the amount of tissue damage, and/or destroying the newly formed tissue. Infection can also delay healing by interfering with the body’s ability to create new blood vessels and by damaging existing blood vessels.
The most common type of infection in chronic wounds is bacteria. However, other types of infections, such as viruses and fungi, can also occur. Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. However, if the infection is caused by a virus or fungus, different treatment options may be required.
If left untreated, infections can lead to serious complications, such as sepsis (a potentially life-threatening condition caused by infection). Therefore, it is important to seek medical help if you think you may have an infection in your wound.
Symptoms of osteomyelitis include pain, swelling, redness, warmth, and decreased range of motion in the affected area. The symptoms may come on suddenly or develop over time.
Osteomyelitis is treated with antibiotics and sometimes surgery. In severe cases, it can lead to amputation of the affected limb.
Complications of osteomyelitis include sepsis, joint damage, bone loss, and deformity. Osteomyelitis can also spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
Tissue Necrosis and Gangrene
Tissue necrosis is the premature death of cells in living tissue. Gangrene is a specific type of necrosis in which the death of tissue is accompanied by putrefaction, or the breakdown of tissues by bacteria.
Tissue necrosis can occur due to a number of reasons, including injury, infection, exposure to certain chemicals or toxins, and even from underlying medical conditions such as cancer. When cells die prematurely, it can disrupt the normal function of nearby tissues and organs. In some cases, tissue necrosis can lead to gangrene.
Gangrene typically occurs when there is an interruption in blood flow to an area of tissue. This interruption in blood flow deprives the tissue of oxygen and nutrients needed for survival. Without oxygen and nutrients, cells begin to die. As cells die, they release their contents into the surrounding tissues which further promotes cell death. The combination of cell death and decomposition leads to the characteristic foul smell associated with gangrene.
Gangrene can occur on any part of the body but is most commonly seen on extremities such as fingers, toes, or legs because these areas are more susceptible to interrupted blood flow. Gangrene can also develop inside the body (such as in abdominal cavity) if there is an obstruction preventing blood from reaching a particular organ or area (such as intestinal blockage).
Edema and Periwound Edema
Edema is the medical term for swelling. It occurs when fluids build up in your body’s tissues. Periwound edema is swelling that occurs around a wound.
Edema can be caused by many different things, including:
Injury or surgery
Kidney disease Congestive heart failure Venous insufficiency Obesity
Certain medications, such as steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
While most hematomas are not serious, they can occasionally lead to complications, such as infection or excessive bleeding (hemorrhage). In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the hematoma.
Signs and symptoms of a hematoma may include: * swelling * pain * tenderness * bruising * lump under the skin * warmth to touch.