Pressure Sores in the Elderly

  • Alexander Y. Lin
  • Mary H. McGrath


Capillary perfusion pressure is the source of life for all the cells in our body, and yet, it averages a modest 22 mmHg throughout most systems in the body. Venous capillary closing pressure is about 12 mmHg, and arterial capillary pressure about 32 mmHg [1]. This delicate homeostasis can be upset by something as simple as excessive external pressure on tissue. This situation requires two unyielding surfaces: one an underlying bony prominence and the other an external plane such as a bed, chair, or even a transport gurney. The most common bony surfaces involved, in order of occurrence, are the sacrum, calcaneus, ischium, and greater trochanter [2]. In fact, these areas are subject to pressure exceeding 30 mmHg when lying supine, sitting, or lying on the side, respectively [3]. This situation is usually benign as our autonomic nervous system prompts us to shift our weight frequently to avoid chronic pressure.


Pressure Ulcer Pressure Sore Advancement Flap Gluteus Maximus Fasciocutaneous Flap 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank David S. Chang, MD, for contributing clinical case photographs for the posterior thigh flap.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Former Chief Resident, UCSF Plastic SurgeryUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Saint LouisUniversity Director, St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center at SLUSt. LouisUSA

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