Bone cancer

A place for people affected by primary bone cancer (including osteosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma and chondrosarcoma) to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Open wound after surgery

petnikev
Posted by

Hello I am new to this site so bear with me if my head is in the wrong place

at the moment I am recovering from the second sarcoma operation the first 2015 was soft tissue after 30 sessions of radiology at clattbridge things seem to be going ok 

But almost three years after the operation sarcoma came back same place right thigh but this time in or on the bone,since then nothing but problems the wound is still open the skin and muscle was damaged by the radiation each time it was stitched it just opens again the skin graft didn't take had a VAC fitted a few times the wound leaking seven months later still leaking now I've just had those compression leggings fitted to help the wound so sorry for going on and on has anyone had simular problems or found light at the end of the tunnel,forgot to say I am 71 year old pensioner in my head more like 40 ish

Thanks for your patience 

petnikev 

lesleyhelen
Posted by

Hello  

I know nothing about bone cancer unfortunately, but I see your post hasn't been answered for many days, so I thought I'd pop in from the breast cancer group.  

Although I've had breast cancer, I do know a bit about open wounds on the leg. I had a major road accident when I was 17 (52 now) and my shin had to have a muscle graft to cover the bone and then a skin graft.  In June 2016 I had a cut which got infected.  It is still open and we try an awful lot of things (it's done it once before 10 years ago).

The first time they tried a silver foil dressing which is excellent for healing (unfortunately for me I was allergic and it burnt a lot of my scar tissue on my leg and made it 10x worse!). It could be worth you asking your GP about these dressings. As one thing didn't work with me, they then tried another so: the other things that have been tried is an inodine dressing on the wound. Great, but didn't completely sort it.  I am now using medihoney recommended by the microbiologist at the hospital.  Mine is particularly difficult because it has MRSA in it and antibiotics have failed, but as yours is weeping it may be that any one of these dressings may assist with any possible infection and assist the healing process.  Ask for a swab to be taken of your wound to see if it has an infection.

They did a doppler to check the blood flow in my leg - have they done that with you?  As you get older the blood flow reduces (mine is bad due to the major injury I had). If they can't do a doppler, then they can try to do an ultrasound.

Radiotherapy skin could be a bit similar to scar tissue (which is my difficulty) whereas your skin has been damaged by the radiotherapy, so you could perhaps have a discussion with your GP to ask if they can refer you to the nurse and see if they would try any of these dressings for you.  I have discovered that some nurses are exceptionally good and others are annoyingly ignorant (in as much as they don't listen to me as I clearly have a lot more knowledge of my leg than they do - as it's not something many have ever come across before) The older nurse I have now (in her 60's) knows what she's talking about and listens to the patient -  the nurses know a LOT more than doctors do about dressing wounds.

One thing I have learned from the years it has happened to me - they always tell me to keep my leg raised (except my one nurse who I now will only see -and she agrees with me this is not necessarily the correct advice).   When I did this for a few months at the start - it made it worse! I now exercise as much as I can because I know it helps the blood flow to the leg which in turn helps the healing process.  Don't do this if you feel it makes it worse as I haven't a clue with your injury - but ask the nurse if they think exercise will help with your healing. 

Last time it happened a decade ago it took a year to heal.  This time because of the MRSA it's nearly 2 years and still not healed but after a year of the doctor ignoring my request for a referral to the hospital which carried out my muscle and skin grafts - finally he's realised that they might be the one I should see after all.....So, don't be disheartened by the fact mine has been going on so long, I am sure mine is far more complex due to the MRSA and grafts than yours is.

Best wishes and I hope this helps,

petnikev
Posted by

Hello Lesley

Thanks for your communication I know what you are saying about the nurses I have the issues here in Liverpool  a couple of nurse say its lòking good hav,nt sèen you for a while, next day different mire mature nurse says the opposite and may say it smells a bit today I'll take a swob,its inflected again back on antibiotics, saw the registrar yesterday asked why I'm on antibiotics I told him he replied we,'ll take a swob just to see what the infection is and see if your on the correct antibiotics 

I've had that Doppler  measuring  and now have to wear those very tight fitting bicycle leggings tights,God what you girls go through with those tights, they say it will push things around and up so it may help the closure,its nearly 8 months since my first operation walking I love to walk everywhere  but problematic limping and  dragging my leg, going upstairs one at a time one leg then the other there tried various dressing the one they use now agucel has silver in it and help absorbe the leakage

Thanks again Lesley 

Take Care

Jim

lesleyhelen
Posted by

Hi Jim,  Yes, I think the dressing you are using now is the one that they tried on me first which I was allergic to.  I've spent so long on antibiotics that they don't have the effect with me now (as soon as I come off them it gets bad again - even with IV antibiotics), so the medihoney dressing has an antibiotic in the dressing which is directly on the wound - perhaps if the silver foil dressing doesn't work, you could ask them about the medihoney (although mine isn't weeping, so it might not be suitable with yours still weeping).  

It's so hard isn't it? sometimes you feel as if you're hitting a brick wall with no-one knowing what to do.    Can you do exercises whilst sitting down with your leg to help improve the blood flow?  Although, just like you, one said - looks good, another a different thing - I keep saying until the infection is under control, then it will never improve!  Hence the medihoney dressing I have now (having insisted my doctor speak to the microbiologist at the hospital) and a referral to the plastic surgeons who carried out my original operation.  It's taken me nearly 2 years to get that appointment (because it's not in my home county, so costs my county money to send me there- even though it's probably costing a lot more in dressings in the meantime!!!!) - so if you feel that something they try isn't working, don't hesitate to tell them and push for something else, I have found that I have to 'lay it on thick' to get action.  I actually told my doctor that my leg was upsetting me more than the breast cancer I had last year did, before he actually did anything other than say "yes, I'm happy with it"....

I wish you all the best