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From Fort Myers, Florida, USA:

My 17 year old granddaughter has a wound on her leg from a fall 9 years ago. It keeps spreading and festering. She is currently in a major Children's Hospital and they say there is nothing they can do. I don't believe this. I have heard about umbilical cord/placenta treatments. They say they can't use a graft from her body because that also won't heal. She was diagnosed as a diabetic when she was about 4-5 years old. Her blood sugar keeps rising because of the infection. Please, do you have any suggestions?


It is a little difficult to give advice on this problem without seeing the lesion and knowing a lot more about the grafting difficulty. I think your granddaughter and her mother and father need to talk to the plastic surgeon at the Children's Hospital and make sure they understand the problem.

Skin isografts, that is to say from the same person, are occasionally done in Type 1 Diabetes, usually for a condition called necrobiosis diabeticorum. There are also other possibilities. One is to cover the clean wound with a gel or a matrix that includes a growth stimulant like PDGF (Platelet Derived Growth Factor). Cultured allograft skin cells i.e. from another person can be similarly used; they are rejected; but the process encourages the growth of a patients own skin cells. A variety of matrixes have been used to cover graft areas to encourage healing; but they have been less successful.


Original posting 18 May 1998
Posted to Other Illnesses and Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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