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Untreated Heel Pressure Sore Presents Variety of Dangers



A heel pressure sore is not an uncommon consequence of a patient’s limited mobility and should be treated seriously and promptly.

Left untreated, a heel pressure sore can result in serious secondary conditions, including:

• Infections of the joint or bone
Squamous cell carcinoma
• Amputation
• Death

Even if secondary conditions are slow to develop, the pain associated with an untreated heel pressure sore, not to mention the anxiety created for the patient and his or her family, are undesirable outcomes that can be avoided with proper care (Read more about the long term effects of untreated heel pressure [link to new page on this topic]).


Proper care begins with identifying and staging a heel pressure sore according to the International NPUAP-EPUAP Pressure Ulcer Classification Guidelines:

Stage I: Nonblanchable reddening

Stage II: Loss of some skin thickness

Stage III: Loss of full skin thickness

Stage IV: Full thickness tissue loss with visible tendon, bone or muscle

Unstageable: Full thickness tissue loss in which the base of the ulcer is covered by slough and/or eschar,

preventing an immediate assessment until the material is cleaned away.

Deep Tissue Injury: Discolored intact skin or blood-filled blister caused by damage to the underlying soft tissue from pressure and/or shear.

If a heel pressure sore does develop, it’s important to begin an appropriate treatment regimen immediately. Propping a patient’s leg with a pillow is oftentimes not sufficient to completely offload pressure as the leg may roll off the pillow as the patient moves.


A professional heel offloading device is recommended to properly position the patient’s leg and provide a zero pressure environment in which to float the heel. Heelift® Suspension Boot, a soft foam heel offloading device, creates a pressure-free environment for the patient’s heel and can be an effective part of a treatment regimen.


Contact us today to learn how Heelift can help prevent and treat heel pressure sores.

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