SOFT TISSUE WOUND HEALING REVIEW
The inflammatory and repair processes are no longer simple events to describe in light of the increased knowledge in this field. The review that follows is only a brief resume of the salient events associated with tissue repair, particularly concerning the soft tissues. For further information, the reader is referred to recent reviews listed at the end of the paper.
Wound healing refers to the body’s replacement of destroyed tissue by living tissue and comprises two essential components – Regeneration and Repair. The differentiation between the two is based on the resultant tissue. In regeneration, specialized tissues are replaced by the proliferation of surrounding undamaged specialized cells. In repair, lost tissue is replaced by granulation tissue which matures to form scar tissue. This review concentrates on the events and processes associated with the repair process.
Probably the most straightforward way to describe the healing process is to divide it up into broad stages which are not mutually exclusive and overlap considerably. There are several different ways to “divide up” the entire process, but the allocation of 4 phases is common and will be adopted here – these being Bleeding, Inflammation, Proliferation and Remodeling.