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Effectiveness and Duration of Plantar Pressure Off-loading by Two Designs of Felt Padding: A Preliminary Study

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  • 1 Department of Nursing and Podiatry, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
  • | 2 Department of Nursing and Podiatry, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain.
  • | 3 Campus de los Jeronimos, Catolic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
  • | 4 Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), Malaga, Spain.
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Background:

The aim of this study was to observe the pressure changes in the felt padding used to off-load pressure from the first metatarsal head, the effects obtained by different designs, and the loss of effectiveness over time.

Method:

With a study population of 17 persons, two types of 5-mm semicompressed felt padding were tested: one was C-shaped, with an aperture cutout at the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and the other was U-shaped. Pressures on the sole of the foot were evaluated with a platform pressure measurement system at three time points: before fitting the felt padding, immediately afterward, and 3 days later.

Results:

In terms of decreased mean pressure on the first metatarsal, significant differences were obtained in all of the participants (P < .001). For plantar pressures on the central metatarsals, the differences between all states and time points were significant for the C-shaped padding in both feet (P < .001), but with the U-shaped padding the only significant differences were between no padding and padding and at day 3 (P = .01 and P = .02).

Conclusions:

In healthy individuals, the U-shaped design, with a padding thickness of 5 mm, achieved a more effective and longer-lasting reduction in plantar pressure than the C-shaped design.

Corresponding author: María Pilar Nieto-Gil, PhD, Department of Nursing and Podiatry, Universidad de Valencia, Jaume Roig, Valencia, 46001 Spain. (E-mail: mpinie@uv.es)