Jul 15 2012

7+ Weeks Post Op ~ Incision Not Healed .. Very Frustrated.

Published by marklewis67 at 6:12 PM under Uncategorized

Hi Everyone ..

  So, it’s been a while since last post (6/11) and not a lot has happened .. for the better at least ~ 7 weeks 2 days since surgery and I’m still on crutches.  Not good.  So, a week after my last post ~ on 6/18 ~ I got my cast off & stitches out .. and, in the 4 weeks since then (tomorrow)  .. the incision down by my heel has not fully healed.  In fact, there are 2 open wounds/holes on my lower leg that are not healed yet.  

  After my initial appt. when the cast was removed/stitches out, I was going back to my ortho every week to check incision & check on ROM and strength of actual achilles .. well, 2 weeks after cast removal, the achilles had taken a back seat and the fact that the incision hadnt healed has become the main focus of my Dr. and myself .. 2 weeks ago, my ortho was concerned enough, that he sent me to a plastic surgeon @ the Wound Center at the hospital where I had the surgery done.  So, last week on 7/10 ~ I went for my first appt @ ”The Wound Center” .. and, believe me, when I walked into the same entrance of the hospital I did on Fri 5/25 when I had my surgery, it was not a good feeling .. Oh, btw ~ I shouldnt say walked in … I crutched in .. I forgot what walking feels like.    

    So,  basically, the 2 wounds are about the size of a quarter & a dime.  The plastic surgeon was pretty clinical and had the personality of an IRS agent.  His first question to me was “do u have diabetes?” .. “ummm, not that I know of?”  And he responded ~ “Well, that would explain why your wounds havent healed, bc you’re a young guy(41 yrs old) and these should have healed by now” .. My response “Well, isnt the achilles heel notorious for being hard to heal bc of lack of bloodflow, no meat on heel, etc” .. his response “well, yes ~ but I have the feeling u have diabetes” .. in my head ….”this guy is a plastic surgeon telling me I have diabetes”  something doesnt seem right , etc .. Anyway~ long story short  .. he basically proceeded to blame me for the wounds not healing .. “where do you work?”…. Manhattan .. “do you have your leg elevated all day” ?  No, I work on a trading desk and it’s hard to do my job w my leg on my desk” … “Well, you havent done a good enough job keeping your leg elevated, taking it easy, and letting your leg heal, etc ..”  “OK, Dr. that may be the case, but, what do we do about it now ?” ..

   So, he prescribed 3 weeks of a compression cast & a special dressing that I have to have changed bi-weekly @ the Wound Center at the hospital by a nurse .. And, I also cannot put weight on it or walk in my boot   ~ which my ortho had not given me permission for anyway bc of the open wound situation.  So, last Tues, I got the initial dressing/compression sock on . and just had it changed 2 days ago on Fri for the first time .. some good news though w that is that the smaller wound did look a lot better in only 3 days of treatment.  So, every Tues / Fri I go back to hospital until the fateful 2nd appt w Dr. Gloom on 7/31 .. I want these wounds healed just to spite this guy.  I HAVE done A LOT better job of keeping it elevated since last Tues & I think the compression sock has def helped w the sweeling.  And ~ I am happy to report that I DO NOT have diabetes as the blood test I took on Tues at the hospital told me when I got the results on Wed .. the first good news Ive had w this injury in 7 weeks. 

  So, in reality  ~ Im still in limbo ..  still supposed to be NWB and on crutches and in boot (Vaco & standard one I got from my Ortho) , although I am doing a bit of walking w/o crutches in my Vaco Cast around house, etc .  My achilles seems v strong and the ROM is great .. I am standing on 2 feet in shower (back to shower bag bc of compression sock) when I know it’s going to be a quick shower, etc … The main priority now is to get wound healed, so I can move on to PT and get rid of these freaking crutches … over 7 weeks on crutches is killing me and I’m extremely frustrated.   This wound situation is just bad luck & it’s delaying my recovery a lot & making me very angry in the process.  It seems like Ive only had bad luck since 5/19 when I ruptured my achilles.

  What happens if I go back to the plastic surgeon on 7/31 and it’s not healed ?  Well, “that would be bad” according to him .. With diabetes off the table, he told me we would then look at the possibility of a bone infection in my leg and or blood flow probs in my veins .. he also threw out the idea of forced bed rest w leg elevation w/ taking short term disability from work (Not going to happen) .. So,  if these are my other options, you can bet that I’m relying heavily on the wound healing by 7/31  .. I’m doing my part w the leg elevation and I hope the compression sock & special dressing are doing their part.  Also, I bought the cryo-cuff  that I saw on KimJax’s blog & am using it now as I write this (feels good) .. I’m also praying a lot for healing as well. 

  So, that’s it .. surgical complication has slowed me down and thrown me a little curve ball .. nothing about this injury has been easy, so I really shouldnt be surprised about what’s going on now w the wound problem .. I just want the wound healed, want to get rid of the crutches, and want to start putting weight on the right leg & start PT.   I want to play golf in Sept … that’s my goal. 

   I’m reading everyone else’s blogs & am very happy for all of your progress.  Feels like I havent been making much and have been very frustrated .. which is why I havent posted anything in over a month.  But, reading about all you guys is keeping me motivated & I hope I have better news for you about my progress very soon.  Take care ..


29 Responses to “7+ Weeks Post Op ~ Incision Not Healed .. Very Frustrated.”

  1. joanon 15 Jul 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Oh Mark, I am so, so sorry about this.
    I have wondered how you are doing, and assumed that you didn’t have time to post because you were busy with work and recovery.
    I’m hoping that you will have better news in your next post.
    Good luck - I’ll be thinking about you.

  2. kimjaxon 15 Jul 2012 at 8:33 PM

    That stinks, Mark! So sorry you’re going through this - and I’ll be praying as well for your healing and moving forward. There are so pitfalls with this injury - and no way to really avoid most. :( It doesn’t help when they give you the worst case scenarios - ugh - it keeps you up at night.

    Sounds like the wound is starting to heal finally? Sounds like the AT is working well if you can just get this wound healed. I’ll be praying for you - I can’t wait till this thing is no longer foremost in our minds!

  3. ryanbon 15 Jul 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Like Kimjax says: that stinks.

    One thing you might try - that I think helped me - is an aggressive nutrition program. Like the tendon, skin is largely made up of collagen, and I would expect a nutrition program effective for one could help accelerate the healing of both.

    FWIW- here’s the program I was on:

  4. starshepon 15 Jul 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Sorry to hear about the trouble you are having. a wound having trouble healing, while not common can be a serious complication. I know of one blogger whose body was rejecting the sutures. The doctors were having a tough time finding a solution.

    As you may know, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies developed a serious wound infection and while scheduled to be back in time for spring training, couldn’t return to baseball until a few weeks ago. He had to go through another operation.

    The small wound beginning to heal is a great sign. Hope things continue and you don’t have to go through anything more than what you already are.

  5. durwoodon 15 Jul 2012 at 10:54 PM


    That is awful news. Sorry to hear about it. 7 weeks on crutches? You are an iron man in my book. Sounds like the extra attention you are giving it (elevation, rest, etc.) will make the critical difference. Is there any chance you can take a bit of time off work to get over this?

    I was fortunuate enough to get a couple weeks off after my surgery and iced & elevated constantly. I also noticed that the bottom of the incision was the hardest part to heal but it did eventually heal up.

    Good luck to you! Keep us posted.



  6. curlygirlon 15 Jul 2012 at 11:11 PM


    I am so sorry to hear about your wounds not healing. I read the post and felt very sad :(

    I have no clever ideas for you ,sorry.

    Keep us posted, I will think off you.


  7. doryton 16 Jul 2012 at 2:48 AM

    I am also dealing with a wound issue! It is freaking 9 months now. Full rupture Oct 5 2011. I was in a splint 10/15 - Nov 4 then in a cast thru 11/29. The physicians assistant did not put steri strips on the incision after removing sutures on 11/4. I had never had stitches so I didn’t about steri strips. I could blame the PA all day long, but if I were to go through this again, I would not be let them keep me casted so long. I am 52 very healthy, not diabetic and healthy clean eating habits. We, everyone on the blog has their stories and recoveries , So this is mine.

    My first injury ever! From what I have read and learned about this injury the AT area is pertty fragile and suspect to a variety of complications. So many AT injuries opt for non surgery, but in my case the rupture severe and close to my heel bone. I started PT in Dec 29 and only did PT until January 10, the therapist was way too conservative because of my open wound.
    It was the size of a quarter, 1 cm deep & 2 inches up from my heel. The tendon exposed. Today it is ALMOST all closed. FINALLY! It has been like watching grass grow.
    I have not been real good on posting on my blog, so here is my basic timeline of recovery.
    Boot by Nov 29 & PT was ordered, Started my own PT at home 11/29 Theraband, ROM movements, pivot boards, buso ball. I was PWB Dec 7 w/ boot, FWB by Dec 15 w/boot, 2 shoes Jan 11. My surgeon referred me to Plastic Surgeon. He was not happy that here were no steri strips and kinda blew it off that this was perhaps the cause of wound not closing. The area has no blood supply to the tendon and we do not have veins on that side of the foot.
    I did all the right stuff during my early rehab, took 3 weeks down time after surgery, elevated, rest ice etc. I was hating laying around but did it!

    I had very good ROM @ 12 weeks. My 100 day mark was Jan 12 and boy did I feel like I hit a wall. Looking for every reason “why” and wanting a quick fix, I was freaking out! This is when it really set in that this was going to be a long ride. I took a breath and made my plan. Sucked It Up! Sucked to think I was going back to crutches!
    From Nov 29 until my Plastic surgery referral I was doing wet to dry dressings with a antibacterial ointment. Plastic surgery consult Jan 18. Jan 27 I had a procedure called “Integra Placement” which was prep for my skin graft. The Integra (shark cartilidge & bovine collagen) was to initiate cell growth and granulation so there would be something for the graft to take to. You can’t graft to a hole. I had graft on Feb 15. From Feb 15-thru end of March I dressed the skin graft with wet to dry dressings and a ointment i can’t recall the name. Crutches were really wearing on me at this point. I was going to XFit modifying and doing upper body and what I could do. I walked my dog in the field behind my house took me forever to walk 1/4 mile! By end of March, the area did improve. Granulation starting and the tendon though still exposed, we were seeing pink tissue starting to develop. April 2 I started going to Wound Care. Size at this point was 1.7 cm X 2.2 cm. depth about 1 cm. Started with another ointment and on April 23 started a different Prep called PRISMA. It is a synthetic collagen and looks like a thin piece of foam that I cut and dipped in sterile water and packed it in the hole. reapplied every 48 hours. Showering allowed now. I continued the PRISMA for 5 weeks and then started a silver based ointment called Silvasorb. As I look at my notebook I have been using the Silvasorb for 33 days on June 27 so what’s that about 2 months now? Like I said “it has been like watching grass grow”. I have been recovering great other than this wound issue. I am walking no shoes barefoot, running (better everyday) and honest think I am looking at 12-18 month full recovery. I am getting long winded here, so if yu have any questions, shout back at me. Good luck! My matra “Time heals all wounds”!

  8. Margon 16 Jul 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Hi Mark
    So sorry to hear about your wound problems. I will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers. My surgeon keeps telling me David Beckham, the soccer player, didn’t get over it in 7 or 8 weeks so why should I feel that way. I keep plugging along. For me, swelling is the issue. It keeps swelling when I do too much.

    Keep strong my Achilles bud. Thinking of you and our life style changing surgery on May 25.

  9. normofthenorthon 16 Jul 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Good Luck and Good Healing, both of you!

    When God/Nature/TheBody provide healing, it’s easy to give all credit to the Surgeon. When one little part of the natural healing/reconstruction falls short or misfires, it’s obvious that instead of “non-op” and “post-op”, we should call the two approaches “100% non-op” and maybe “90% non-op”.

    Meanwhile, despite your “stinking” experience, neither of you is close to breaking the record for long-term wound complications here (and I sure hope you never challenge it). I suspect that distinction is held by gerryr, but there are also a few others who’ve also had their body reject their supposedly-dissolving internal sutures. Gerry went through four surgeries over several years before it got cleared up. He’s fine now, posting nice ski videos from time to time, but it took a lot of patience and perseverance.

  10. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:16 PM

    hi Joan ~ thanks for your thoughts .. yes, have been pretty depressed about progress so I could never bring myself to post btw 6/11 & yest, etc … but, Im very glad I did .. really appreciate all the comments .. makes me realize how many other people are going through the same ordeal in some form or another .. and how we’re all going to overcome it eventually. Some sooner than others :) … I will hopefully see some more healing on the incision tomorrow @ hospital etc when I go to get dressing changed, etc .. Mark

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  11. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:20 PM

    hi Kim .. thanks for your thoughts and prayers .. yes, a lo of pitfalls and ups and downs & we’re all experiencing them unfortunately .. the smaller open part of the wound was def healing when the dressing was last changed on Fri @ the wound ctr .. and hoping for more progress tomorrow @ my next appt. .. and yes, the AT seems great .. minimal tightness, standing on 2 bare feet in shower (w/ plastic bag over right leg bc of compression sock & dressing, etc) … so, as soon as I get the wound healed, I’m loking frwd to losing the crutches / FWB and PT, etc .. will keep u all updated .. Best ~ Mark

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  12. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:23 PM

    hey Ryan .. thanks very much for the link .. after I finish these responses, I’m going to go to your link and check out your nutrition program .. I have beeen very cognizant of the fact I am very sedentary now on crutches, etc and have def gained some weight since surgery .. been trying to eat well and can use some more guidance, etc .. thanks again & can’t wait to check it out … ~ Mark

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  13. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:26 PM

    hey Starshep .. yes, very aware of what happened to Ryan Howard and was on 3 weeks of oral anti-biotics before I started my Wound Center protocol where I am now using a topical anit-biotic, etc .. heard Howard interviewed last week on the NYC sports radion station WFAN and it was very interesting to hear him talk about his ATR, etc .. yes, good sign about the smaller wound healing and I hope the bigger wound gets the hint :) .. Will let u know what happens .. thanks ~ Mark

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  14. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:32 PM

    hey Durwood ~ yes, 7.5 weeks today on crutches and its getting very old .. when I have boot on in house, I will walk w/o crutches across room, but more of a skip/hop, etc bc Im not supposed to be putting any weight on right leg, etc .. Right now, it’s 9:30pm Mon night & I have my Cryo-Cuff on (thanks Kim!!) , leg elevated while watching the Yankees game .. and this has been my protocol as much as poss when Ive been home since orig plastic surgeon appt. last Tues, etc .. so, I’m doing what he told me .. but, impossible to take anymore time off from work unfortunately .. Leaving early every Tues/Fri now as it is bc of wound center appts, so taking more days off really not feasible, etc .. thanks again for comments and I will def keep u posted … ~ Best Mark

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  15. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Thanks Curlygirl ~ appreciate your thoughts .. will keep u posted .. Mark

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  16. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:44 PM

    hey dory ~

    Wow .. what a comment ! .. Def not long winded ~ only very informative and to me ? A little scary .. Ive read ur response 4 times now and still can’t believe everything you have gone through … I pray my wound heals up before next appt w plastic surgeon on 7/31 ~ bc I don’t think I have the mental fortitude to go through what you’ve gone through .. I really don’t. You know, once u mentioned the Steri-strips, it made me wonder about my ortho, etc and what should have been done after my cast/stitches were removed on 6/18 … I actually asked the plastic surgeon last Tues if my ortho took the stitches out too soon & he wouldnt even answer me .. I guess for liability ? Protecting each other ? (Doctors) .. anyway ~ whereas I may have had a few nights out in NYC for work, since cast has been off ~ I have been laying low, resting, keeping leg elevated, etc … even when Ive gone out, etc .. everyone Ive been with has been v good about helping me to always keep foot elevated, etc .. so, other than when I’m crutching or in a car ~ my foot is never down .. so, I’m chalking up the wound sitch to bad luck & a hard to heal spot on body … blood flow like u said, etc … But, to hear u say ur recovery is in essence ~ 12-18 mos .. that’s a scary thought .. but, very plausible I guess for me if I don’t get more progress w wound over next 2 weeks … thanks a lot for the details u gave .. amazing … And, if for some reason, I go down the same path as you .. then I will def reference what u wrote & use it for edification. Will keep u posted and def shout at u if I have any questions … thanks again for your story … I hope “Time Heals All Wounds” !! FAST !!! ~ Take Care Mark

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  17. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:48 PM

    hey Marg !! thanks so much for keeping me in ur thoughts and prayers .. I really appreciate it .. Been following your progress and appreciate you keeping me up to date .. Even though I’d like to be as far along as you ~ I’m so psyched u are where u are … keep it up !! My swelling pretty bad also, but will keep plugging along like you said. I will try and stay strong and always remember how you and I share that infamous date together :( 5/25 … Def changed our lives right ?? Stay strong too Marg ~ Talk Soon .. Best ~ Mark

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  18. marklewis67on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:55 PM

    hey Norm .. yes, I agree w you about the non-op ~ 100% ~ 90%, etc … And, this issue w me is def a misfire in the healing process, etc … I never asked my plastic surgeon about the issue w the supossedly dissolving internal sutures ? I’m pretty sure that my ortho told me that mine were metallic ? So, maybe tha’s why my body having this issue ?? But, hopefully it’s a short stutter step in my recovery and I’m not apporaching anything like u mentioned w Gerry, etc .. thanks for your thoughts & response .. talk soon .. best ~ Mark

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  19. doryton 17 Jul 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Hi Mark,
    There was another lady (harleylady) with a bad wound and healing problem. I believe she ended up with a staph infection, can’t remember exactly. She dropped off the blog. Does anyone know what happened to harleylady? I never had any infection. Just wanted to comment on the reason why I set a 12-18 month full recovery for myself. If it were not for the wound I could have been way more aggressive on my PT, and I lost 2 months being back on crutches with the Integra & graft. I probably will have a month or two after the skin is completely filled in, that I will need to break up more of the scar tissue. I have been massaging heavily around the area but it is like I have worked the scar tissue into the center of the wound. Like the head of a pimple that wants to pop. Sorry - sounds gross! I can’t push on the site until it is all healed. Take care and I look forward to seeing you recover faster than I. :)

  20. housemusicon 17 Jul 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Hi Mark,
    I also had a wound healing problem and my orthopedic surgeon sent me to a dermatologist.
    The dermatologist thought it was an infection and prescribed a very strong topical steroid and a course of antibiotics.
    Wound did not heal with this protocol.
    I took it upon myself to go to my primary care doctor who looked at it and said it was an allergic reaction to a material or instrument used during the procedure. He told me to take an over the counter allergy medication and stop the steroids and antibiotics. In about five days the wound started improving.
    A month later it was completely closed and healed, though the skin took much longer to return to a normal color.
    The wound healing issue delayed my healing and contributed to a bad case of adhesions but it did not affect the result as far as tendon function. I was able to start PT including massages at 10 weeks post op.
    This episode was possibly one of the most challenging in my ATR journey. You have to keep your sanity and have a lot of patience because wounds in the ankles take forever to heal.

  21. doryton 22 Jul 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Well “steady progress” was my sign-in cue, so I had to write something to you again. Encouraging words of course! Even though it has been 9 months dealing with this I would say the process has been steady. I certainly did not think it would take this long, even the docotrs would not set a timeline. I’d say every course of action wet/dry dressings, Integra,Graft, Prisma, Magic potions (different ointments) all did stimulate the wound closing. Good news is that I had a Dr. appt on Thurs 7/19 and concensus was in a week if I felt wound was closed I could go in the ocean, pool without a problem. I am so close to being fixed, FINALLY! I told Dr. I have waited this long that my final goal was set for Labor Day Sept 3rd when we have a surf camp weekend planned. I do have a followup prior on August 9th.
    I will try to get around to working on my blog and posting some progress pictures. I hope to see a good report on your next appoitment at the end of the month.
    Signing off now & I am going to look at Gerryr blog that Norm mentoned.

  22. Margon 24 Jul 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Hi Mark. I hope your wounds are healing. Every time, I think of complaining, I think of you. I am still wearing the cast and have started physio daily. I walk in the house wearing my shoe. Up and down days for sure. Just keep healing and keep posting. Thinking of you. Marg

  23. housemusicon 26 Jul 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Hi Mark,
    Can you give us an update on your situation?
    How’s the wound healing? Any progress?

  24. uscgdiveron 03 Aug 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Hi Mark,

    I found your info as I looked for other Lax players that tore their AT’s. I had an 80% tear in Jan when I was 41 (now 42) and I thought that was the end. I was also and still hope to be a competitive 1/2 marathoner.

    I didn’t have surgery so I am quite interested in seeing how things are turning out for you with the wound site healing. I know life gets in the way of what the Dr.’s state as the obvious in a perfect world, but stay easy on the leg as best you can and stay positive.


  25. HarleyLadyon 25 Aug 2012 at 5:20 PM

    I have not been checking in with the blog in few months. I guess I was discouraged reading about alot of success stories. You are the first person I have read about that has had some of the same experiences and bad luck like I have. My first surgery repair was day before Thanksgiving 2011 then had another repair after rerupture in feb 2011 then I got staph in April and wound wouldnt heal, then had wound vac few weeks, on June 4th still in a splint I fell in restroom and ripped the small hole into a large hole and a Z across it. Went to Dr sent me right to surgery to clean it up and culture it. Well you guessed it had puesdamonous and MRSA They kept me in hosp till I told them I’d had enough so they put a PICC line in and sent me home with 5 IV drugs a day, home health and a cast with a door cut out in the back so we could dress it everyday. What a mess. Couldn’t be left alone, needed help with IVS and everything else. Still had a business to run from home, couldn’t call in sick. After 8 weeks of IVs and all the side effects, I can say I’m staph FREE and finally got casts off for good I hope. Now I have a weird brace to wear inside of a tennis shoe that is 2 sizes larger then I Wear, but I can walk stiff legged. Also have tennitus pretty bad from all the antibiotics and they say its not reversible. Best of all I have scar tissue for a tendon since I was allergic to sutures, they removed them in April. I’ll never be right and have a big indention and ugly scar. Its just about healed from inside out. Had been left open for months.

  26. zaneon 06 Jan 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Hello Mark,
    I am having the same experience with my injury.The wound size description is even the same. One difference: my first visit with the plastic surgeon was pleasant.

    Both doctors want the wound(s) to heal naturally, so that means two more weeks of infection watch; change bandages daily; use a petrolatum patch; no PT.

    Thanks for sharing.

  27. Amyon 02 Mar 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Thank you Mark, took a minite to find this on the internet. I had bone spurs removed from my left heel and they did some achilles tendon work. Five weeks on a knee roller then I was released to work in a boot. The surgery it self seems to be successful but the incision does not want to heal. Very painful there is one side of it towards the bottom. But as someone mentioned in the comments tough area to heal. I see the ortho guy again this Tuesday will see what he says, in the meantime I am back on the knee roller for now just to stay off of it and allow it to heal naturally. Thanks for starting the input on this and I do hope yours is all healed by now.

  28. Farook KSon 30 Jul 2014 at 6:49 AM

    Dear Sir,

    I fell down in indian style toilet and had an injury to my achiiles tendon.
    its partially cut(there was skin opening and blood (come out).
    doctor did the 4 stitchings and I was on cast and crutches for 21 days.
    stichings are removed on 12th day.

    now my problem is the wound(2cm length,0.5 cm width) not healing which is just above the heel.and no infection there. and i checked my glucose level and its normal.

    I showed to doctors, they are suggesting clean it betadine solution and oitment and put band aid.

    I started walking (after cast removed ie 21st day) on my foot the skin remain opened

    from last fifteen days , i am observing the size of the opening is not reducing.

    when i press the open skin with my fingers wound closes, if i put my foot on floor wound opens.

    what can i do for wound healing?

    Best regards

    Farook ks
    bangalore india
    mob:+91 9900131641

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