German Flag Deutsch      French Flag Français      Spanish Flag Español      Japanese Flag 日本語

Heel Pressure | Long-Term Consequences




Undetected or untreated heel pressure has real, significant consequences for both the at-risk patient and the facility where the patient is treated.


Patients who experience unalleviated heel pressure are at risk for developing not only serious heel pressure sores but also potentially devastating secondary conditions such as:

• Infections of the joint or bone
Squamous cell carcinoma

Amputation and death also can result because of untreated heel pressure. Once a stage four heel pressure ulcer involves the os calcis (Calcaneus) heel bone, a below knee amputation commonly results. Sadly, it is not uncommon for the opposite heel to develop an ulcer during the treatment time for the original ulcer.


Even without complications, the cost of a heel pressure ulcer can extend beyond a patient’s health. Most patients with heel ulcers cannot ambulate, need assistance with daily tasks and are unable to return to work until their heel pressure sores are healed. Such disruptions affect not only the patient, but also his or her family members, coworkers and others who may depend on the patient.


For facilities, the costs related to heel pressure ulcers can range from $2,000 to $70,000 or more per pressure ulcer. A single facility’s costs to discharge a patient who developed a full thickness Stage III or IV heel pressure ulcer will average more than $10,000 mostly for surgery, increased lengths of stay and additional nursing time.


Costs to healing for a Stage I or II heel pressure ulcer are estimated at $3,000, including out-patient post discharge costs. Costs to healing for full thickness Stage III and IV and Unstageable pressure ulcers and DTIs are estimated to average $45,000.


One tool to estimate the potential savings associated with better heel ulcer prevention is the Heelift® Savings Calculator.


Some healthcare observers also recommend that the cost of litigation should be included in any consideration of the long-term consequences of treating heel pressure ulcers. Pressure sores reportedly are one of the most common sources of litigation involving nursing homes; filed claims for pressure ulcers are the second most commonly filed claim after wrongful death. Average compensation in a pressure ulcer case is nearly $1 million.


Heel pressure, along with the resulting ulcers, is a major concern, with facilities and healthcare professionals dedicating large amounts of time and money to find effective, reliable solutions.


Heelift Suspension Boot is often an appropriate choice as part of effective prevention and treatment regimens. Heelift completely offloads heel pressure, floating the heel in a zero pressure environment. The pressure is redistributed to the calf.


Made of soft foam with a friction-free tricot backing and ventilation holes, Heelift provides patient comfort as well as protection for the unaffected leg.


Contact us now to learn how Heelift can eliminate heel pressure for the patients at your facility.

we love hearing from you
contact us
let's be friends
sign up – clinician's bulletin