Nonhealing wounds represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality for a large portion of the population. One of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the failure of chronic wounds to heal is an out-of-control inflammatory response that is self-sustaining. Underappreciation of the inherent complexity of the healing wound has led to the failure of monotherapies, with no significant reduction in wound healing times. A model of the inflammatory profile of a nonhealing wound is one in which the equilibrium between synthesis and degradation has been shifted toward degradation. This review summarizes the current information regarding acute wound healing responses as contrasted to the delayed response characteristic of chronic wounds. In addition, some initial complexity theoretical models are proposed to define and explain the underlying pathophysiology.