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Thread: tunnel wound

  1. #1

    tunnel wound

    I have been trying to heal a tunneling wound for five months now. I am eating protein, staying off of it 95% of the time, packing it, keeping it clean and basically, doing all that I can to get this thing to heal. Unfortunately, it has only gone from about 4.8 cm to 3.5/4.0 cm in length.

    It is becoming difficult to get one of those Q-tip ended sticks in it to measure. The Q-tip end is too large to fit. Drainage color is looking okay and I have nursing coming in once a week to look at it. About two months ago, they tried some collagen/porcine material in it to see if that would help, but gave up on it after about three weeks, because they decided that it should be healing faster.

    I really do not want surgery. Do these things eventually heal? The tunnel is becoming more narrow. Today, I tried to get a 2 mm dermal curette into the tunnel but it would not fit.If there's too much drainage sitting down deep is that bad/non-healing environment?

    I am not staying completely off of it. I will get up at night for an hour, but I also do constant pressure releases during that time. It does move some of the drainage out of it better when I do this.
    Last edited by ouch; 08-19-2015 at 08:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Have you tried the wound vac?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Have you tried the wound vac?
    It is in a difficult spot--closer to the center of my rear, but will bring it up to the nurses. One of them told me that there is a side/angle tube.

  4. #4
    Yes there is the mini vac also. Special foam for tunneling. It has to heal from the inside out. Cwo

  5. #5
    I don't want to highjack this thread, but I am going through the exact same thing as Ouch at the moment. After months of having a vac pump on, I still have a tunnel 5 cm. deep, with the skin opening getting smaller all the time. The doctor at the hospital has mentioned 'muscle relocation surgery', as the wound is over my ischium, and this will provide more muscle for me to sit on.

    The SCI nurse mentioned special foam for tunnelling. Could you please elaborate more on this, and explain how it works.

  6. #6
    If you have a wound nurse following you, he/she should be knowledgeable about foam. The white is the highest density foam for smaller wounds.

    If you have had a long standing wound difficult to heal with the wound vac, you may need it surgically closed as the physician mentioned. Wound vacs are great at speeding up wound healing by bringing in blood to heal the wound. But wounds are complicated because many factors are involved in healing them: location of the wound, pressure from inside (bony prominences), pressure from outside, nutrition status, body habitus, medical history comorbidities (diabetes, past osteomyelitis, etc).

    good luck

    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 08-28-2015 at 12:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Thankyou for your reply SCI nurse.

    No one I have spoken to seems to have much knowledge of the foam. Is it something that stays in the wound always, or is it something that is a temporary measure to assist with healing?
    Could you tell me the name of it, or a web site I could read about it.

    I am loathe to have surgery as I have heard the success rate is not always good, and the thought of having to be in bed for at least a month does not fill me with joy, after having just spent almost 3 months in hospital.
    I have had a vac pump on for a few months for this stage 4 pressure wound, but it's now at a size where the nurse can't get enough gauze in for the pump to work.
    The tunnel I have is still about 5 cm. deep, so I'm wondering whether to keep getting it dressed 3 times a week by the nurse, and see if we can keep the hole from closing.

    Would the foam you speak of work in this instance?

    Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.

  8. #8
    My expierence with them and my wound nurse thinks i have another one now is if the vac has not helped heal it by 3-4 months and isn't signifantly better by now it will never heal. I have had 2 flaps done, yes they do help close it. Have you been checked for osteomylitis which is a bone infection? If not i would suggest that this be done. My last flap was in march 2012 and have had no issues till this year. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks then on home bedrest for another month. Then able to gradually start sitting program. It is well worth it trust me.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  9. #9
    I did have osteomyelitis when I was first taken to hospital. I had it debrided, then the vac went on for the next few months.

    It's just the last few centimetres of the wound that is taking so long to heal, with the opening almost closing over before the cavity heals.

    Not sure what I should be doing now. Doctors usually want to operate, but I would like to be able to heal it myself. I'll be interested if the SCI nurse can give me some information on the foam she mentioned.

  10. #10
    Ae you absolutely sure the osteo is completely gone? This many times will prevent closure of the wound forget the foam the vac is not going to close it now as you said you can't get the foam in there anymore for the vac to work. They either need to pack the wound with some kind of packing or you need to seek consultation with a surgeon for a flap.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

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