Negative/positive pressure, mechanically assisted wound closure, other wound therapies

Physical modalities have been used in the attempt to encourage wound healing for centuries. Passive compression is a popular approach for the treatment of venous stasis ulcers and many of the current passive compression products have their roots in traditional practices (e.g., paste bandages). Passive compression addresses the underlying etiology of chronic venous insufficiency.

Alternatively there is a market for devices designed to remove pressure from wounds that have been caused by extended pressure on the skin surface, and this market segment has shown astronomical growth within the past 3-4 years, driven by the demonstrated ability of application of negative (i.e., sub-atmospheric) pressure to speed up and improve the healing of chronic wounds.

There are also a great number of devices that are designed to immobilize limbs to avoid weight-bearing behavior, and sophisticated footwear and devices for diagnosing neuropathy. In addition, devices exist to manipulate pressure around limbs to maintain and improve venous blood flow. There are devices designed to accelerate healing through the use of physical treatments including ultrasound, electrical, magnetic, hyperbaric, and pressure relief.

Below are the main types of physical wound healing methods and technologies:

  • Negative Pressure Devices
  • Positive Pressure Devices
  • Mechanically Assisted Wound Closure
  • Other Physical Wound Therapies
    • Hydrotherapy
    • Electrical Stimulation
    • Electromagnetic Stimulation Devices
    • Ultraviolet Therapy
    • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
    • Ultrasound Devices
    • Laser Devices
    • Wound Imaging/Documentation

Taken together, these physicial treatment modalities commanded sales of more than $1.4 billion in 2008 and annual growth of an estimated 19% is forecast for the period 2008–2017.


See Report #S247, "Worldwide Wound Management 2008-2017."

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