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Effect of a Low-Dye Application of Scotchcast Soft Cast on Peak and Mean Plantar Pressures in Subjects with a Navicular Drop Greater than 10 mm

Julie L. Walters School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Dr. Lange is now with the Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, Marina Del Rey, CA.

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 B(Physio)Hons
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Belinda S. Lange School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Dr. Lange is now with the Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, Marina Del Rey, CA.

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 PhD, BSc, B(Physio)Hons
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Lucy S. Chipchase School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Dr. Lange is now with the Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, Marina Del Rey, CA.

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Background: We investigated whether a low-Dye application of Scotchcast Soft Cast significantly altered plantar pressure distribution during gait in patients with a navicular drop greater than 10 mm.

Methods: An experimental, same-subject, repeated-measures design was used. Thirty-two subjects aged 18 to 35 years were screened with the navicular drop test and were included if a navicular drop greater than 10 mm was established. The Emed-AT-2 platform system was used to measure the plantar pressure distribution under the right foot of each subject using the midgait method of data collection. Each subject performed six barefoot walks and six walks with Soft Cast applied to the right foot. Average peak and mean plantar pressure measurements were recorded for ten discrete areas (masks). The heel and midfoot were each divided into two masks, and the forefoot and toe regions were divided into three masks each. Paired t tests were used to detect differences in peak and mean plantar pressures for each mask.

Results: Soft Cast significantly affected peak and mean plantar pressures in seven and nine of the ten masks, respectively. No significant change in peak or mean plantar pressure was found beneath the medial midfoot.

Conclusion: Plantar pressure may represent dynamic foot and ankle joint motion. With further research, Soft Cast may provide an alternative to current management techniques in controlling foot pronation and reducing symptoms of lower-limb abnormalities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(6): 457–465, 2008)

Corresponding author: Belinda S. Lange, PhD, BSc, B(Physio)Hons, Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, 13274 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. (E-mail: lange@ict.usc.edu)