Plantar pressure is critical in the onset of neuropathic foot ulcers. However, risk classifications do not consider it as a stratification parameter. Whether plantar pressure distribution affects ulcer-risk was investigated. Patients from a research study (n. 134) and from a clinical environment (n. 83) were classified into ulcer-risk groups according to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot guidelines. Pressure distribution was acquired during gait (Pedar-X System), and assessed for hindfoot, midfoot, forefoot and toes (1way- and 2way-ANOVAs, p < 0.05). Pressure distribution changed with polyneuropathy even in the low-risk groups: median p = 0.048 (0.001-0.223). Risk classification correlated poorly with pressure distribution: median p = 0.686 (0.374-0.828). BMI, age and walking speed influenced most parameters and rendered the studies almost impossible to compare (2-way ANOVA factor A > 0.05). Pressure-time integral, the only comparable parameter between the two studies, may increase the predictive capacity of ulcer-risk stratification models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health