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Doctor bandaging up an elderly woman’s upper arm

Northwestern Medicine Wound Care

If you have a non-healing wound, Northwestern Medicine wound care specialists bring expertise and clinical insight to promote optimal healing.

Care for non-healing wounds

If you have a wound that has not healed in more than 30 days, or a wound that has resisted traditional treatment, Northwestern Medicine wound care specialists can help you heal. Our caring, multidisciplinary team of physicians and nurses are dedicated to healing chronic wounds with specialized treatment plans designed to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Ask your physician about visiting a Northwestern Medicine Wound Center if you have a:

  • Wound that has not healed in more than 30 days (commonly experienced by people with diabetes).
  • Sore with increasing pain, redness and swelling, foul odor or changing color.
  • Surgical wound that has become infected.

Chronic wound causes

The causes of wounds are complex, and our medical staff represents expertise in all of the major areas necessary to handle your individual circumstances and challenges. Causes may include:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Medications, such as steroids and immune suppressors
  • Poor circulation
  • Poor nutrition
  • Pressure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Swelling
  • Trauma

Treatment and therapies

The wound care team determines the most appropriate therapies for you and recommends a course of treatment, which may include:

  • Biomedically engineered skin grafts
  • Conservative or compression dressings
  • Growth factor therapy
  • Vacuum-assisted closure devices
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Developing your healing plan

Typically, your physician will refer you to a Northwestern Medicine Wound Center for specialized care.

  • When you call for your first appointment, we will ask you a few questions about your wound and your health in general.
  • Before beginning treatment, our team of doctors and nurses will thoroughly evaluate your wound and review your health and medical history.
  • Tests may be conducted to tell us more about your blood flow and tissue oxygenation, as well as to determine if there’s any infection present.
  • Together with your physician, we will develop a treatment program based on your personal needs. Your program will likely involve regular visits to a wound care specialist. Your progress is documented and adjusted as necessary to provide the best results.
  • We will be in constant communication with your doctor throughout your care. Once your wound is healed, you’ll return to your primary care physician for follow-up care and continue treatment for any related conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension.

Much of the success of your treatment depends on you. We’ll count on you to follow directions carefully and watch your progress closely. Learn how to care for your wound at home.