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Opioid Treatment and Chronic Wound Healing

Opioid Treatment and Chronic Wound Healing

While opioids are routinely prescribed for painful and chronic wounds, the effects of the medications are not well described in literature. Past studies suggest that stimulation of mu-opiate receptors on keratinocytes may induce transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and cytokeratin 16 (CK16), which are molecules that appear in wound healing environments. However, other studies suggest opioids may impede immune activation and negatively affect healing. This longitudinal observational study sought to elucidate the effect of opioids on healing of wounds in the Wound Healing and Etiology (WE-HEAL) Study, a repository of 450 patients. Parameters such as pain score, longitudinal opioid exposure, and total wound surface area (tWSA) were investigated. (more…)

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Case study: Maggots help heal a difficult wound

Using maggots to treat wounds dates back to 1931 in this country. Until the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s, maggots were used routinely. In the 1980s, interest in them revived due to the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

At Select Specialty Hospital Houston in Texas, we recently decided to try maggot therapy for a patient with a particularly difficult wound. In this case study, we share our experience. (more…)

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