Who would benefit from physical therapy wound care?

Physical therapy wound care is for patients who have open wounds as a result of pressure, vascular insufficiency, trauma, surgery, and/or diabetes. The most common wounds that are treated by wound care physical therapist are:

         Necrotic wounds

         Stage III, IV or unstageable pressure ulcers

         Diabetic wounds

         Chronic wounds

         Venous and/or arterial wounds

         Extremity wounds with edema

         Non-healing surgical wounds

What does physical therapy wound care involve?

Patients must be referred by their physician to physical therapy wound care.

Physical therapy wound care begins with a comprehensive evaluation and development of an individualized care plan. Common treatment approaches can include:

         Measurement and documentation of the wound characteristics

         Cleaning of the wound

         Debridement (removal) of any dead tissue

         Selection and application of wound dressing

         Application of compression if necessary

         Education of the patient, caregivers and/or family members regarding wound care and dressing changes

Available treatment modalities may include:

         Ultrasound mist therapy

         Electrical stimulation

         Whirlpool

         Compression therapy

How long will physical therapy wound care take?

All wounds heal at different rates and the duration of therapy will be based on the patientís individual needs. Depending on the type of wound and amount of care needed, the patient may be seen as often as daily in the hospital and one-three times a week in the physical therapy wound clinic. The duration of treatment can vary from one-several months. The wound care therapist will work with your medical team to adapt treatment to maximize wound healing.