Chronic wound healing and diagnosis in western Wisconsin

Most cuts and sores heal within a week or two. However, if you have a wound that lingers and won’t heal, you’re not alone. About 7 million Americans deal with chronic wounds like leg ulcers, bedsores and lacerations. In these cases, specialized care is needed to help you heal.

There could be many reasons your wound isn’t healing, including diabetes, kidney disease, circulatory issues, diet and age. At Amery Hospital & Clinic’s Wound Healing Center, we provide the specialized treatment needed to treat even the most complex wounds.

As a leader in chronic wound healing, we’re one of the only locations in the Midwest that offers some of the most advanced wound care and treatment options, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy and negative pressure wound therapy. Many of our patients travel from other states in order to get the specialized help they need in order to finally heal from their wound.

Our team of wound healing experts will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. No matter the wound, we’ve been able to help about 97%* of our patients fully recover. 

There’s no reason for you to keep living with an open sore. Healing starts with your first appointment.

Types of chronic wounds we treat

Our skilled wound experts can treat a variety of chronic wounds, including:

  • Diabetic ulcers and sores
  • Lower leg ulcers and sores
  • Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
  • Bone infections
  • Gangrene
  • Failed or compromised skin grafts
  • Post-operation wounds and infections
  • Post-radiation burns
  • Skin tears or lacerations

One of our doctors will assess your wound and determine the most effective types of treatment for you. Some of the following treatments may be included in your treatment plan:

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy is a type of treatment where patients breathe 100% oxygen in an enclosed chamber. The hyperbaric chamber for wound healing is a clear cylinder where patients can lay back and relax.

During HBO therapy sessions, you’ll be surrounded by 100% oxygen at a higher than normal atmospheric pressure. This increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, allowing red blood cells to pass more easily through the plasma into the wounds to heal them from the inside out. It’s typically used to treat such problems as diabetic ulcers, circulatory disorders, compromised skin grafts and bone infections.

Sessions usually last between 90 minutes and two hours. We do our best to keep you entertained and comfortable during your sessions. You can choose to listen to music or watch a movie on the TV mounted above the hyperbaric chamber.

Wound debridement

Wound debridement is a minor surgical procedure where we remove unhealthy tissue from the wound. This clears dead skin, debris and infected cells from the wound to promote healthy skin growth and healing. In some cases, we’ll transfer healthy skin from another part of your body and place it over the affected area to help your body grow healthy skin over the wound. We’ll typically use local anesthesia to help keep you comfortable during this type of procedure.

Wound dressings

A wound dressing is a type of cover you wear over your wound to keep it clean and protect it from the elements. Choosing the right type of dressing for your wound goes a long way to help it heal. Our team will work with you to determine the best way to dress your wound.

Bioengineered skin substitutes

Skin substitutes are bioengineered materials that are used to cover wounds. We only use skin substitutes that closely resemble how human skin feels, looks and functions. Bioengineered skin substitutes can promote wound closing, reduce pain, speed up the healing process, and eliminate the need for surgical skin grafts.
In wound healing, skin substitutes can be used for patients with:

  • Burns
  • Diabetes-related foot wounds
  • Non-healing surgical incisions
  • Venous leg wounds
  • Other chronic wounds
Negative pressure wound therapy

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a mechanical wound treatment that uses controlled negative pressure to promote wound healing. This means that we use a vacuum-like device to remove fluids from your wound with suction. NPWT also stimulates the growth of new tissue and reduces the amount of bacteria in the wound.

Monitoring how your chronic wound heals

During your care, our doctors will keep a close eye on your wound to make sure it’s responding to treatment as planned. We use the latest monitoring techniques to track your healing progress. These include:

Transcutaneous oxygen monitoring

This test records the level of oxygen available to your wound. The more oxygen your wound gets, the quicker it can heal. During this test, we’ll place a sensor on your skin that measures the oxygen in your blood.

Doppler evaluation

This test uses an ultrasound to measure the blood flow available to bring nutrients and medicines to the wound. The better the blood flow is, the quicker your wound will heal.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

No. You don’t need a referral to make an appointment at the Wound Healing Center. Just call 715-268-0175 to make an appointment.

The stages of wound healing can take different amounts of time that depend on several factors. But in general, if you notice that a wound hasn’t started to heal in two weeks, or if a wound hasn’t completely healed after six weeks, it’s time to talk to a doctor. If you’re concerned about a wound, make an appointment at the Wound Healing Center. We’re ready to help you heal no matter how long you’ve had your wound.

Yes. Research shows that the longer you have a wound before seeking treatment, the longer it takes for your wound to heal once you begin treatment. Regardless of how long you’ve had a wound, we’re here and ready to help. We’ll work with you to find a personalized treatment plan that effectively heals your wound.

Yes. Among people with diabetes, up to 25% experience a foot ulcer in their lifetime and 3.4% will experience an ulcer each year. More than half of all foot ulcers will become infected, which can lead to hospitalization or, in severe cases, amputation. If you have diabetes, make sure you’re taking care of your feet by checking them daily for wounds, cracks and redness.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, PreferredOne and many others.

Not sure what your insurance covers? Call the number on the back of your card for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started:

*Data results from 2020 Healogics business analytics and iHeal wound outcomes database.