It may not be the first thing you think of after a spinal cord injury (SCI), but taking care of your feet can be just as important as taking care of other aspects of your injury.
When it comes to wearing shoes for the first time after your injury, there are a few things you will need to consider.
After a SCI, your feet may swell. While you may have been in a standard shoe size before your injury, you should now purchase your shoes one to one and a half sizes larger to accommodate for this swelling.
If you are just starting to wear shoes after your injury, you should allow your feet to go through an adjustment process. The first time you put shoes on, only leave them on for 30 minutes to start with. After the 30 minutes, take them off and check your feet for any irritated, red, or dark spots. Make sure to pay special attention to areas like the ankle, heels, and tops of the toes. Continue this acclamation process by wearing shoes for an hour at a time until you have reached ten to twelve hours at once.
If at any point you notice that an irritated, dark, or red spot has developed, you should take the shoes off and stop wearing them until it is healed.
When buying shoes, search for pairs that are made of soft leather and avoid hard leather as they can be more irritating to your skin.
Having limited mobility and feeling below your injury can make it difficult for you to detect when something is wrong, so be sure to take steps to help keep your feet healthy.
Source: myshepherdconnection.org, Accessed: 4/7/17