Spinal cord injury often results in paralysis and loss of sensation to portions of the body. Individuals may lose sensation to the lower body and are therefore unable to detect when there is excessive pressure in these locations while sitting in a wheelchair or lying in bed. Over time, this problem progresses from skin breakdown to open wounds, and even to life threatening infections of the underlying bone.
Surgical treatment is sometimes necessary to clean and cover the wounds. Reconstruction of these wounds is often performed using flap surgery – healthy skin and muscle from nearby locations is mobilized to cover the areas where pressure sores are located. Flap surgery is an integral part of plastic & reconstructive surgery that offers the best chance of resolving pressure sores in patients with spinal cord injury.
At the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in New Jersey the doctors are highly skilled in innovative flap surgery techniques.