Tim GilmerSince writing about my pressure wound battles and having to have my left leg amputated below the knee in August 2012, I’ve heard from many of you who have had similar experiences with persistent pressure wounds. They come and they go, and too often they come again. Just a week ago I discovered a wound on my heel (my only heel), which caught me off guard. I’m still not quite sure what caused it. But I know what I must do to get rid of it.

This wound is serious, not because it is big or deep (it is neither), but because of its location. Foot wounds, particularly heel wounds, are especially dangerous. They are as far away from our heart as a wound can get, so blood supply sufficient for healing may be a problem. They are also most prone to swelling, since they occur at the lowest point on our bodies. And they are often in contact with bathroom floors and harmful bacteria. As if that isn’t enough, the heel has relatively little flesh, so the bone is close to the wound and vulnerable to becoming infected.

So what can we do when a wound suddenly appears in a troublesome area? There are five essential requirements for a wound to heal: freedom from infection; adequate blood supply; no or minimal edema; freedom from pressure; and adequate nutrition, especially protein. If only one of these requirements is missing, the wound will fail to heal or take months or even years to heal.

Staying infection-free may require immediate antibiotic treatment. If you are prone to developing infections, taking a prophylactic antibiotic daily may be best for you. Consult your doctor. But other factors can put you at ris