Pressure sores develop when one has prolonged immobility which can be due to injury or chronic illness. Once the pressure sore has started to involve the muscle and underlying bone, then it requires surgical intervention. Surgical intervention often involves not only the removal of the affected tissue and bone, but also covering the defect left with healthy tissue.
Some options that we provide include: local gluteal skin-muscle and/or skin flap, biceps femoris muscle-skin flap, gracilis muscle-skin flap and tensor fascia lata muscle-skin flap.
Because injury and chronic illness often cause the immobility causing pressure sores, there are many factors that need to be addressed to optimize the outcome of these patients. Nutrition must be addressed to assure that the patient is taking in a well-rounded diet with optimal protein intake. Also, many injuries that cause one to be immobile can make a patient have contractures and spasms. These patients should be seen by Neurology and Orthopedics to minimize these factors.
Proper positioning is vital, so a patient may need to update and replace cushions for wheelchairs and replace a mattress with an air mattress. Active involvement with Physical Therapy is necessary to help patients position themselves properly, learn good transfer methods to avoid sheering forces and help them combat the effects of long immobilization. These wounds can often be infected, so the Infectious Disease Service may become involved with the patient care. Additionally, patients must be compliant with wound care orders and may find assistance with education from our wound care nurses while in the hospital.