Efficacy of multilayered hosiery in reducing in-shoe plantar foot pressure in high-risk patients with diabetes.

Diabetes Foot Clinic, Disablement Services Centre, Withington Hospital, Cavendish Road, Manchester M20 1LB, UK.
Diabetes Care (Impact Factor: 7.74). 08/2005; 28(8):2001-6. DOI: 10.2337/diacare.28.8.2001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT High plantar pressure is an acknowledged risk factor in the development of plantar ulcers in the diabetic neuropathic foot. This study examines the ability of preventive foot care (PFC) socks to reduce plantar foot pressures in a sample of high-risk patients with diabetes.
Nineteen patients with established peripheral neuropathy attending a complications clinic of the Manchester Diabetes Centre were recruited to the study. Fifteen (78%) of the patients were male, 40-80 years of age, and ulcer-free at the time of recruitment. In-shoe plantar pressure measurements were recorded using the F-Scan and compared PFC socks with ordinary supermarket socks. The analysis measured differences in maximum foot contact area and plantar pressure for the whole foot, forefoot, and peak plantar pressure areas.
The results showed a significant increase in maximum foot contact area of 11 cm2 (95% CI 7-11) when subjects wore the PFC socks (P < 0.01). This was accompanied by 5.4 kPa (3.5-7.3) or 9% reduction in total foot pressure (P < 0.01). Similar results were observed at the forefoot, which showed a 14.2% increase in contact area and a 10.2% reduction in peak forefoot pressure.
These results suggest that the wearing of PFC socks increases the underfoot contact area and hence decreases plantar foot pressures. Further studies are required to determine whether the pressure and friction reductions achieved by this simple intervention would be effective in reducing the incidence of foot ulcers in high-risk patients.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Elderly diabetic patients are particularly burdened by foot disease. The main causes for foot disease are peripheral neuropathy, foot deformities and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Other risk factors include poor vision, gait abnormalities, reduced mobility an medical co-morbidities. The risk of major amputations increases with age, along with the increased prevalence of these risk factors. Th true risk of amputation and other burdens of foot disease in the elderly are likely underestimated by current epidemiological data. Th prevalence of neuropathy, foot deformities and PAD as well as the risk of amputation all increase with age even in non-diabetic patients. The principles of prevention and management of diabetic foot disease may also apply to large segments of the elderly non-diabetic population. Foot ulcer prevention relies on the identification of high risk patients and avoidance of triggering events, such as ill-fitting shoes, walking barefoot or poor self-care. PAD is a major cause of amputation and should be prevented by lifelong attention to glycaemic control, treatment of hypertension and dyslipidemia, and avoidance of smoking. The treatment of foot ulcers relies on pressure relief (off-loading), wound debridement, and treatment of infection and ischemia. It requires an individualized approach considering the patient's co-morbidities and functional status. Off-loading remains essential, but devices such as total contact casts or crutches can only rarely be implemented. However, providing adapted standard foot-wear and insisting on its consistent use even at home is often effective. The benefits of aggressive vascular or orthopaedic surgery should be weighed against the risks of prolonged hospitalisation and resulting functional decline. Greater attention to prevention and individualized care are needed to reduce the burden of diabetic foot disease in the elderly.
    Diabetes & Metabolism 05/2007; 33 Suppl 1:S56-65. · 2.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As the incidence of diabetes mellitus is increasing globally, complications related to this endocrine disorder are also mounting. Because of the large number of patients, foot ulcers developing in the feet of diabetics have become a public health problem. The predisposing factors include abnormal plantar pressure points, foot deformities, and minor trauma. Vulnerable feet usually already have vascular insufficiency and peripheral neuropathy. The complex nature of these ulcers deserves special care. The most useful prognostic feature for healing remains the ulcer depth, ulcers heal poorly if they clearly involve underlying tendons, ligament or joints and, particularly, when gangrenous tissue is seen. Local treatment of the ulcer consists of repeated debridement and dressing. No 'miraculous' outcome is expected, even with innovative agents like skin cover synthetics, growth factors and stem cells. Simple surgery like split skin grafting or minor toe amputations may be necessary. Sophisticated surgery like flap coverages are indicated for younger patients. The merits of an intact lower limb with an abnormal foot have to be weighed against amputation and prosthesis in the overall planning of limb salvage or sacrifice. If limb salvage is the decision, additional means like oxygen therapy, and other alternative medicines, might have benefits. The off-loading of footwear should always be a major consideration as a prevention of ulcer formation.
    The surgeon: journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland 09/2007; 5(4):219-31. · 1.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Department of Biomedical Engineering. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Case Western Reserve University, 2007. Includes bibliographical references. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.