What Does Wound Management Involve?

May 13, 2024
What Does Wound Management Involve?
Knowing how to properly clean, dress, and manage a wound can save you from scarring, infection, and even the potential loss of a limb. Here’s what you need to know. 

The human body is capable of healing even the most serious injuries, but if your vascular health is compromised, the healing process can be sluggish or even stall out completely. If injuries on your lower extremities heal slowly or poorly, you could become vulnerable to a serious infection that can limit your mobility or even end in amputation. 

At Apex Endovascular, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Shawn Ahmed provides wound management services for leg wounds and other minor injuries complicated by poor vascular health.  

Wound management 101 

Most wounds are nothing to worry about, especially if you’ve quickly cleaned and disinfected them. The body has its own way of dealing with injuries, bleeding to clear the wound, and then scabbing up to seal it off. Even foreign bodies like splinters can be pushed or pulled out, and bacteria can be dealt with thanks to modern antibiotics and antibacterials. 

Wounds close from the inside out, so deep wounds are slower to heal. Even shallow wounds aren’t finished healing under the scab until new skin has formed as the final stage of healing.  Everyone heals at a different rate, but you should generally recover from minor scrapes, cuts, abrasions, or other flesh wounds within thirty days. 

Wound management becomes much more difficult when the body refuses to heal on its own. Leg ulcers are common chronic leg wounds caused by vascular disease, which interferes with blood circulation in your legs and feet. Over time, wounds that fail to heal can lead to unsightly infections, extensive scarring, and even amputation. 

When to consult a specialist 

Acute but minor injuries like small cuts or abrasions can often be handled at home; as long as you keep the area clean and apply a topical antibiotic, they should heal quickly. If you’ve had a history of leg ulcers or are experiencing an open wound that continues to bleed or appears to get bigger, you should check with your doctor.

You’ll want to monitor your lower legs and feet carefully if you have conditions that may slow wound healing, like diabetes or vascular insufficiency. If ulcers form, you may need repeated visits to your doctor for wound cleaning and monitoring.  

Red flags

Let your doctor know if your leg injuries show any of the following signs:

  • Bruised or discolored skin around the injury 
  • Skin texture that becomes hardened, scaly, or bumpy 
  • Swelling of your lower legs, also known as edema
  • Intense pain when standing from a sitting or lying position 

Obvious signs of infection, such as foul odor, pus emanating from the wound, and a high fever means you need immediate medical attention. If left untreated, the infection may spread, and you risk losing a limb forever. 

Addressing root causes of slow-to-heal wounds

Wound management is just one aspect of dealing with chronic leg wounds. You’ll also need to address the vascular issues causing them. Dr. Ahmed offers a range of minimally invasive procedures that relieve pain, stimulate healing, and can help you avoid amputation. 

For more information about wound care and vascular treatment options, call 970-508-8439, or book an appointment online.