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Thread: Black spots on heel of foot

  1. #1

    Exclamation Black spots on heel of foot

    Ok. I have made it 20 months or so now with this lovely new life of mine without any real setbacks. Just recently I have noticed a growing black spot on the heel of my foot the size of a pencil eraser. I am scared it may be a bed sore. I am now sleeping with it elevated, but not seeing any healing. Any ideas or suggestions? Actually, I believe it to be getting worse. The only thing I have changed is using a new wheelchair. But I have had the spot well before the new chair.

  2. #2
    Are you wearing shoes? Check inside for anything that may be pushing on your heel. You might need to spend some time (weeks?) without letting the heel press down at all while you're in your chair. When you say you're sleeping with the foot elevated, is there any pressure at all on the heel? From time to time my wife used a "heel boot" from Hollister that left a gap between the heel and anything else. You might be able to cobble up something using foam.
    Pressure sores can take a LONG time to heal.
    - Richard

  3. #3
    Yes I wear shoes. I go to work for 10 hours a day. How do you suggest I keep pressure off of my feet while being in a wheelchair?

  4. #4
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Deffo a pressure sore. See your doc quickly, keep your feet elevated at night by putting a pillow under your ankles but do not rest your heels on them. Check out your footwear to be sure they fit properly.

  5. #5
    That's a tough question to answer. But if this is a pressure sore, you're going to have to answer it somehow. You want to stop this from growing immediately.
    This is the heelboot my wife used:
    It looks like hell. But it does work. There very well may be other items that do a similar job; perhaps SCI-nurse can assist there.
    - Richard

  6. #6
    I am the impatient type. How long will this take to heal? I wear different shoes randomly, I just bought a new pair a bit larger than usual to try to give my feet more room. I am now sleeping with my feet elevated with no pressure on heels. But wondering if sleep is not the problem, and that shoes and day time are. I need a solution for a active person, I cannot stay home for weeks with my feet up.

  7. #7
    Dunno if this is accepted practice or not (I have a suspicion it may create other problems), but what about dropping your footplates a bit to relieve pressure on the heels?
    - Richard

  8. #8
    Was thinking of that also. I will drop it tomorrow a bit and see how my heels rest. Should I put any ointment on this spot?

  9. #9
    I hope someone else chimes in on that - I used Calmoseptine ointment when my wife had a sore; it seems as good as anything else.
    Good luck; we found that sores take weeks or more to heal, and we never had to deal with a deep one. I hope yours is only on the surface.

  10. #10
    I suspect you may have a DTI (deep tissue injury) type pressure ulcer. These are very common on the back of the heel from not using proper fitting boots at night or too tight shoes. Compare it to the pictures of DTIs in the pictures on this forum in the Sticky Topic about pressure ulcer staging.

    Don't put anything on it...including YOU. Keep all pressure off the area. No shoes with backs, never laying down without a boot that elevates this area. DTIs can break open and easily become stage III or IV pressure ulcers if you put any pressure on them at all. If you are lucky, and the damage is not bad enough, and you do keep all pressure off it, the black area will turn into a scab (eschar). Do NOT remove it or peel it off! This becomes a physiologic dressing on a heel. Leave it alone until it peels off on its own. Check daily to be sure that the area is not boggy, and that there is no drainage coming from around the edges (esp. pus), and that the surrounding skin is not inflammed. If you find any of that, you will have to see a wound care specialist.

    Generally these take 6-8 weeks or so to resolve.


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