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)
Although there are several different concepts of hindfoot relief footwear, there are no studies on the extent of pressure reduction to be achieved by this footwear. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the reduction in plantar pressure to be achieved with two different hindfoot relief shoes.
Ten healthy volunteers performed three trials at a self-selected speed. Peak pressure values in mass-produced shoes (normal gait) were considered as 100% and were compared with measurements in two differently designed hindfoot relief shoes. Foot portions were defined as heel (0%–15% of total insole length), hindfoot (16%–30%), midfoot (31%–60%), and forefoot (61%–100%).
Heel and hindfoot peak pressures were significantly reduced in both shoes compared with normal gait (P < .05), but the extent of peak pressure reduction under the heel and hindfoot varied significantly between the tested shoes. Midfoot peak pressure was not significantly reduced in tested shoes compared with baseline (P > .05) but differed significantly between the two shoes. Forefoot peak pressure was significantly reduced with one of the tested shoes (to a median 73% baseline; P = .004) but not with the other (median, 88% baseline).
Hindfoot relief shoes leave a considerable amount of peak pressure, predominantly under the hindfoot. The extent of peak pressure reduction for the heel and the hindfoot varies between different hindfoot relief shoes. Depending on the affected foot area, the kind of hindfoot relief shoe should be carefully chosen.
The authors undertook a study to evaluate the prevalence of ankle equinus and its potential relationship to high plantar pressure in a large, urban population with diabetes mellitus. The first 1,666 consecutive people with diabetes (50.3% male; mean [±SD] age, 69.1 ± 11.1 years) presenting to a large, urban, managed-care outpatient clinic were enrolled in this longitudinal, 2-year outcomes study. Patients received a standardized medical and musculoskeletal assessment at the time of enrollment, including evaluation at an onsite gait laboratory. Equinus was defined as less than 0° of dorsiflexion at the ankle. The overall prevalence of equinus in this population was 10.3%. Patients with equinus had significantly higher peak plantar pressures than those without the deformity and were at nearly three times greater risk for presenting with elevated plantar pressures. There were no significant differences in age, weight, or sex between the two groups. However, patients with equinus had a significantly longer duration of diabetes than those without equinus. Having a high index of suspicion for this deformity and subsequently addressing it through conservative or surgical means may help to reduce the risk of foot ulceration and amputation. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(9): 479-482, 2002)
Background: Diabetic neuropathy leads to progressive loss of sensation, lower-limb distal muscle atrophy, autonomic impairment, and gait alterations that overload feet. This overload has been associated with plantar ulcers even with consistent daily use of shoes. We sought to investigate and compare the influence of diabetic neuropathy and plantar ulcers in the clinical history of diabetic neuropathic patients on plantar sensitivity, symptoms, and plantar pressure distribution during gait while patients wore their everyday shoes.
Methods: Patients were categorized into three groups: a control group (CG; n = 15), diabetic patients with a history of neuropathic ulceration (DUG; n = 8), and diabetic patients without a history of ulceration (DG; n = 10). Plantar pressure variables were measured by Pedar System shoe insoles in five plantar regions during gait while patients wore their own shoes.
Results: No statistical difference between neuropathic patients with and without a history of plantar ulcers was found in relation to symptoms, tactile sensitivity, and duration of diabetes. Diabetic patients without ulceration presented the lowest pressure–time integral under the heel (72.1 ± 16.1 kPa × sec; P = .0456). Diabetic patients with a history of ulceration presented a higher pressure–time integral at the midfoot compared to patients in the control group (59.6 ± 23.6 kPa × sec × 45.8 ± 10.4 kPa × sec; P = .099), and at the lateral forefoot compared to diabetic patients without ulceration (70.9 ± 17.7 kPa sec × 113.2 ± 61.1 kPa × sec, P = .0193). Diabetic patients with ulceration also presented the lowest weight load under the hallux (0.06 ± 0.02%, P = .0042).
Conclusions: Although presenting a larger midfoot area, diabetic neuropathic patients presented greater pressure–time integrals and relative loads over this region. Diabetic patients with ulceration presented an altered dynamic plantar pressure pattern characterized by overload even when wearing daily shoes. Overload associated with a clinical history of plantar ulcers indicates future appearance of plantar ulcers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 285–294, 2009)
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.
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.
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).
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.
Fatigue due to running has been shown to contribute to changes in plantar pressure distribution. However, little is known about changes in foot posture after running. We sought to compare the Foot Posture Index before and after moderate exercise and to relate any changes to plantar pressure patterns.
A baropodometric evaluation was made, using the FootScan platform (RSscan International, Olen, Belgium), of 30 men who were regular runners and their foot posture was examined using the Foot Posture Index before and after a 60-min continuous run at a moderate pace (3.3 m/sec).
Foot posture showed a tendency toward pronation after the 60-min run, gaining 2 points in the Foot Posture Index. The total support and medial heel contact areas increased, as did pressures under the second metatarsal head and medial heel.
Continuous running at a moderate speed (3.3 m/sec) induced changes in heel strike related to enhanced pronation posture, indicative of greater stress on that zone after physical activity. This observation may help us understand the functioning of the foot, prevent injuries, and design effective plantar orthoses in sport. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(2): 121–125, 2013)
Background: Research addressing the effect of running shoe type on the low- or high-arched foot during gait is limited. We sought 1) to analyze mean plantar pressure and mean contact area differences between low- and high-arched feet across three test conditions, 2) to determine which regions of the foot (rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot) contributed to potential differences in mean plantar pressure and mean contact area, and 3) to determine the association between the static arch height index and the dynamic modified arch index.
Methods: Plantar pressure distributions for 75 participants (40 low arched and 35 high arched) were analyzed across three conditions (nonshod, motion control running shoes, and cushioning running shoes) during treadmill walking.
Results: In the motion control and cushioning shoe conditions, mean plantar contact area increased in the midfoot (28% for low arched and 68% for high arched), whereas mean plantar pressure decreased by approximately 30% relative to the nonshod condition. There was moderate to good negative correlation between the arch height index and the modified arch index.
Conclusions: Cushioning and motion control running shoes tend to increase midfoot mean plantar contact area while decreasing mean plantar pressure across the low- or high-arched foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 330–338, 2009)
Background: We aimed to investigate whether a home exercise for self-care program that consists of range of motion (ROM), stretching, and strengthening exercises could improve ROM for foot joints and plantar pressure distribution during walking in diabetic patients to prevent diabetic foot complications.
Methods: Seventy-six diabetic patients were recruited (38 with neuropathy and 38 without neuropathy). Neuropathy and nonneuropathy groups were randomly divided into a home exercise group (n = 19) and a control group (n = 19). Exercise groups performed their own respective training programs for 4 weeks, whereas no training was done in the control group. Total contact area and plantar pressure under six foot areas before and after the exercise program were measured. Ankle and first metatarsophalangeal joint ROM were measured before and after the exercise program.
Results: In the exercise group, there were significant improvements in ROM for the ankle and first metatarsophalangeal joints (P < .001); static pedobarographic values showed significant reduction in right forefoot-medial pressure (P = .010); and significant decreases were seen in dynamic pedobarographic values of peak plantar pressure at the left forefoot medial (P = .007), right forefoot lateral (P = .018), left midfoot (P < .001), and right hindfoot (P = .021) after exercise. No significant positive or negative correlation was found between the neuropathy and nonneuropathy groups (P > .05).
Conclusions: A home exercise program could be an effective preventive method for improving ROM for foot joints and plantar pressure distribution in diabetic patients independent of the presence of neuropathy.
No detailed comparative studies have been performed regarding plantar pressure changes between proximal dome and distal chevron osteotomies. This study aimed to compare radiographic and plantar pressure changes after distal chevron and proximal dome osteotomies and to investigate the effect of radiographic and plantar pressure changes on clinical outcomes.
This study included 26 and 22 patients who underwent distal chevron and proximal dome osteotomies, respectively. Visual analog scale (VAS) and American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) forefoot scores were used to evaluate pain and functional outcomes. Hallux valgus angle, intermetatarsal angle, talar–first metatarsal angle, and calcaneal inclination angle were measured in the evaluation of radiographic outcomes. Preoperative and postoperative plantar pressure changes were evaluated.
There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in age, body mass index, or AOFAS forefoot and VAS scores. In the proximal dome group, the pressure measurement showed significant lateralization of the maximal anterior pressure point in the forefoot (P < .001). In addition, the postoperative calcaneal inclination angle was significantly lower (P = .004) and the talar–first metatarsal angle was significantly higher (P < .001) in the proximal dome group. Postoperative transfer metatarsalgia was observed in one patient (3.8%) in the distal chevron group and five (22.7%) in the proximal dome group (P < .05).
Proximal dome osteotomy led to more lateralization of the maximum anterior pressure point, decreased calcaneal inclination angle and first metatarsal elevation, and related higher transfer metatarsalgia.
A comparison of five commonly used insole materials (Spenco, PPT, Plastazote, Nickelplast, and Pelite) was made to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing plantar vertical pressures on human subjects during walking. With the use of the EMED-SF pedograph force plate system, dynamic measures of vertical force, force-time integral, peak plantar pressure, pressure-time integral, and area of foot-to-ground contact were compared with the force plate covered with each of the insole materials and without any interface material.