Valley Foot Care, Inc.

Patient Education Library

Why Won’t My Wound Heal?

There are several reasons why a foot or ankle wound does not heal in a timely manner:

  1. Pressure on the area
  2. Local soft tissue infection (cellulitis)
  3. Underlying bone infection (osteomyelitis)
  4. Poor circulation
  5. Poor nutrition
  6. Decreased immunity
  7. Presence of callus
  8. Skin cancer

When a foot or ankle wound is not healing, the individual must be assessed by a foot and ankle physician. After obtaining the medical history of the patient and the wound, the doctor will examine the wound. Debridement, or removal of non-viable tissue, may or may not be indicated. Tests such as blood work, arterial Doppler, x-rays, bone scan, CT scans, and/or MRI may be ordered. Depending on the age and appearance of the wound, a biopsy may also be necessary.

Once the causative factors are identified, a plan of action is devised. This may include oral and/or intravenous antibiotics, consultation with an internal medicine doctor, vascular specialist, an infectious disease doctor, and/or a registered dietician. Sometimes an infection can be limb- or life-threatening, and may require immediate hospitalization. The individual may also need surgery, specialized wound care products and off-loading devices. If skin cancer is identified, a musculoskeletal oncologist will be consulted.

Private Practice Since 1997