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Thread: Pressure sores on my son's heels

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Lorena, TX USA

    Pressure sores on my son's heels

    My son is a C4-C5 quad 8 months post injury. He is an adult. We cannot seem to shake the heel sores. We've tried various things including foam, gel, antibiotics, bandaids, fresh air, etc. They come and go. Could we hear what someone else does.

  2. #2
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Auburn, AL,USA
    Mabe he should go without shoes for awhile?

  3. #3
    Senior Member krajaxa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New Castle, PA
    Definitely no shoes while there is sores on his heels. Make sure they are healed all the way... His daily shoes should be at least 1/2 size bigger than what he used to wear, and especially if his feet swell up during the day, try to elevate his legs during the day to minimize swelling (swelling=shoes "getting smaller"=sores).

    That's what our SCI doc has taught us...

    Good luck!


  4. #4
    Senior Member mattcorregan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Sanford, NC
    I would say that you need to find out what's causing the sores before you can stop them. If they're coming from lying in bed, maybe wearing a boot in bed would help. They have special boots that have a rigid frame with a sheepskin or artificial sheepskin inside that protects the skin. They are really for preventing contractures but they protect against bedsores too. If they're from his shoes or from his footrests, maybe try placing towels underneath his calves to keep his heels from pressing against the footplates.

  5. #5
    I agree with all of the previous responses. Definitely the biggest thing one can do is remove the underlying source of pressure until the sores are healed. This means wearing protective devices that keep the heels off of the bed and avoiding the use of shoes.

    The best treatment often for pressure sores is moisture to the wound. Depending on the size and depth of the wound this could be as simple as a hydrocolloidal dressing (like Duoderm) that is changed every 3-7 days or packing with normal saline twice a day.

    If necrotic tissue is present it needs to be removed in order for granulation tissue to start forming for wound healing. Good nutrition is also important with protein and vitamins in the diet. A good multivitamin with zinc sulfate might help. Taking in a good fluid intake is also important.

    If he is not followed by a wound specialist I would suggest this to his MD as well. Many hospitals now offer wound care clinics. PLG

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Madison,Wisconsin, USA
    my brother also had heel sores while in the hospital. the ted hose didn't help with their friction, so when i took him home i used ace bandages instead so the immediate area of the sores could be avoided. i also took tennis shoes and cut the tops of the heels off and used those to at least provide protection for the toes, but keep pressure off the heels. another thing you might try is to see a wound specialist, they are better informed than most general mds. if you aren't near the rehab center that he was at, take a picture of his heels and send to them for suggestions. it's hard to give advice without knowing what stage the sores are. i get shoes that are one and a half times bigger size than pre-accident, to allow for swelling and the friction of putting on/taking off.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Seems some guys could benefit from some added testosterone along with protein to help heal sores. Not sure if that study is on the research forums or I read it in the health section of the paper.

    Also check out:

    For some inexpensive but helpful bed stand booties that leave the heels uncovered and then some soft shoes to wear once a layer of skin is back in place.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

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