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Healing the Heel: Pressure Injury Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Diane Langemo, PhD, RN, FAAN
October 27, 2021

Pressure injuries impact quality of life. Tissue destruction in pressure injuries occurs when capillaries supplying the skin structure are compressed for a prolonged time, usually occurring between a bony prominence and a surface. Education and prevention are essential in reducing the prevalence of pressure injuries. The heel is the second most common pressure injury site. The heel bone, the calcaneus, is an angular, almost triangular bone that is extremely prone to injury because the pressure of the whole lower extremity rests on that very small area.

Preventing heel pressure injuries by using offloading techniques and devices is an essential strategy in patients at high risk of pressure injury development. Patients with immobility, diabetes, leg spasms, and impaired perfusion are all more susceptible to pressure injury development and should have prevention strategies in place early in their care. It is important for health care professionals to understand the anatomy and pathophysiology of heel pressure injuries and the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for pressure injury development, to enhance awareness and prevention in at-risk patients. Recent expert guidelines provide best practice protocols for focused heel assessments and evidence-based clinical pathways to aid in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heel pressure injuries, for optimal outcomes.

Want to Know More?

I invite you to attend my WoundCon Fall presentation, “Healing to Heel: Pressure Injury Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment,” on November 12th at 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. I’ll be discussing the causes of heel pressure injuries, risk factors, assessment techniques, and guideline-directed prevention and treatment options. Registration for WoundCon Fall is open and is free for health care professionals. Attendees can earn up to 15 free continuing medical education credits and will gain access to exclusive education, live networking, and interactive exhibit halls, and much, much more. Visit today to register. I look forward to seeing you there. Register for free at 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.