A descriptive study was undertaken to establish the 95 percentile limits (proposed normal reference range) for pressure beneath the hallux, metatarsal heads, and heel in a group of healthy adult subjects. A new force plate device capable of accurately measuring discrete areas of pressure beneath the human foot with high temporal and spatial resolution was used. The system is capable of accurately measuring plantar foot pressure during dynamic and static foot function. The results of this research are in close agreement with other published studies of plantar foot pressure measurement with comparable systems.
Diabetes mellitus affects about one in 25 Australians. Neuropathic foot ulceration is a frequent complication in persons with diabetes. This study evaluates the importance of different risk factors for the development of this condition. The role of nonenzymatic glycosylation and pressure beneath the sole of the foot in the pathogenesis of neuropathic foot ulcers was investigated. Twenty-seven subjects with diabetes with a recent history of neuropathic foot ulceration were matched by age and sex with a group of 50 control subjects without neuropathy or history of foot ulceration. The degree of nonenzymatic glycosylation was assessed by analyzing the average level of glycosylated hemoglobin in the 3 years prior to the development of the foot ulcer and a goniometer assessment of peripheral joint (hand and ankle) flexibility. Dynamic pressure of the plantar aspect of the foot was recorded using a Musgrave Footprint System pedobarograph during a normal gait cycle. There was no significant difference in age, sex, body mass index, and duration or type of diabetes between the ulcer and control groups. The pressure of the plantar aspect of the foot was significantly elevated (p < 0.01). Ankle joint flexibility was reduced (p < 0.01) in cases with neuropathic foot ulceration compared with the control group. There was a trend toward elevation of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c fraction) or HbA1c in the ulcer group (p = 0.06). The results suggested that nonenzymatic glycosylation occurs at a more significant level in patients with diabetes with a history of neuropathic foot ulceration.
The aim of this study was to apply the principles of content, criterion, and construct validation to a new questionnaire specifically designed to measure foot-health status. One hundred eleven subjects completed two different questionnaires designed to measure foot health (the new Foot Health Status Questionnaire and the previously validated Foot Function Index) and underwent a clinical examination in order to provide data for a second-order confirmatory factor analysis. Presented herein is a psychometrically evaluated questionnaire that contains 13 items covering foot pain, foot function, footwear, and general foot health. The tool demonstrates a high degree of content, criterion, and construct validity and test-retest reliability.