Patient Education: Chronic Wound


What is a chronic wound? – A chronic wound may be defined as one that is physiologically impaired due to a disruption of the wound healing cycle as a result of impaired angiogenesis, innervation, or cellular migration, among other reasons. Examples of chronic wounds include nonhealing or infected surgical or traumatic wounds, venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and ischemic ulcers.

What are the symptoms of a chronic wound? – Chronic wounds are typically identified by a raised, hyperproliferative, yet non-advancing wound margin. The area around the wound is inflamed and this inflammation may affect healing negatively. Chronic wounds may never heal or may take years to do so. These wounds cause patients severe emotional and physical stress. Chronic wound patients often report pain as dominant in their lives.

Factors contributing to the formation of chronic wound:

Increased bacterial load

Pressure, trauma and/or lower extremity wounds

Inappropriate treatment

Pathophysiology – Chronic wounds may affect only the epidermis and dermis, or they may affect tissues all the way to the fascia. They may be formed originally by the same things that cause acute ones, such as surgery or accidental trauma, or they may form as the result of systemic infection, vascular, immune, or nerve insufficiency, or comorbidities such as neoplasias or metabolic disorders. The reason a wound becomes chronic is that the body’s ability to deal with the damage is overwhelmed by factors such as repeated trauma, continued pressure, ischemia, or illness.

Role of Bacteriophage therapy in case of chronic wound– A bacteriophage is a type of virus that infects bacteria. In fact, the word “bacteriophage” literally means “bacteria eater”. Phage therapy can be very effective in certain conditions and has some unique advantages over antibiotics. It can be used in patients with diabetic foot, who have recurrent wounds that do not close.

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