Christine Gleason of Thornton cut her heel walking barefoot across the pine floors of her log home. Not thinking much of it, she cleaned it up, put a bandage on it, and went about her day. A couple of days later, she noticed a red line moving up her leg from the cut on her heel. Nine years, and several treatments, later, Christine’s wound has not healed.
“I’ve been driving back and forth to Concord for years dealing with this,” says Christine. “They had tried everything from surgical debridement (scraping and cleaning the wound of dead tissue), using high pressure water (hydrosurgery), to putting me in a walking boot.” While Christine’s wound healed enough a couple of years ago to have knee replacement surgery here at Speare Memorial Hospital, during the recovery process she once again found the wound on her heel to be a problem.
Seeing little progress Christine became frustrated, which was further compounded by weather this past winter making it difficult for her to keep her appointments down in Concord for ongoing treatment. Then she heard about Speare’s new Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center.
“First of all I love Speare Hospital,” notes Christine. “It’s the atmosphere . . . people are very professional and friendly. They make you feel welcomed and you are not judged on anything, so I was excited to learn of the clinic opening here. I met Jeff Rietkert and Dr. Burrell and they started their magic.”
In the first month and a half of treatment at Speare’s Wound Care Center Christine can’t believe the results. “It’s an amazing place and such a convenience having it here at Speare.”
Says Dr. Burrell, DPM, the medical director of the Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Speare, “Christine is doing very well and her prognosis is good. I picked up on the history of the wound—it had healed, it wanted to heal, and continued to heal—but the reason that it has gone on so long is that she continues to walk on her foot. So something in her mechanics is causing the wound to linger. Using a lighter walking boot and proper orthotics will help off load pressure from the wound to aid in healing. Then going forward we will be working on her gait and the mechanics of how she uses the foot, and that will be the answer for taking care of the wound long-term.”
Christine’s eyes well up knowing she now has hope, “I’ve been dealing with this for long and thought there would never be an end to it. I was set to live in a boot for the rest of my life if I had to. But I’m a success story already.”