How does gangrene progress?
Asked Feb 28, 2007, 04:49 AM
I need to know what to expect from the unchecked progression of gangrene. My 88 year old Mother-in-Law is in a nursing home and has been immobile (chair and bed-ridden) for two years after having a stroke and her hip removed. Prior to the stroke/hip removal she suffered from bad circulation in her leg and a former leg ulcer took 3 years to heal. Her toes and lower part of her foot are now afflicted with wet gangrene. The doctors say they won't amputate her foot because it won't heal due to the lack of circulation, which caused the gangrene. They also say she probably wouldn't survive a leg amputation due to her age and medical state. My Mother-in-Law would never agree to amputation anyway. At this point it seems to us that nature will take its course and the gangrene will be fatal. My Mother-in-Law and the family can accept this. What we donít know is how the gangrene will progress, how much time she has left, will the pain become unbearable, etc. She has just been prescribed morphine and current treatment consists only of cleaning and dressing the wound each day. Can you shed some light on what we can expect and a possible timeline? Is it in fact going to be fatal? Will the gangrene progress up her leg or will it stop once it reaches an area of better circulation? All I can find on the Internet is treatment options. Thank you so very much for any information you can provide.