Gait-related strategies for the prevention of plantar ulcer development in the high risk foot

Curr Diabetes Rev. 2011 May;7(3):159-63. doi: 10.2174/157339911795843159.


High plantar pressures lead to ulceration in the diabetic foot, particularly in the forefoot region around the metatarsal heads. High plantar pressures persist during gait due to factors such as peripheral neuropathy, foot deformities, limited ankle dorsi flexion range of motion and reduced plantar tissue thickness. Strategies impinging upon gait such as the use of appropriate therapeutic footwear, custom-moulded insoles and injectable silicone can help to reduce plantar pressures and attenuate the risk for ulceration. Shoes adapted with external rocker profiles facilitate plantar flexion and restrict sagittal plane motion of the metatarsophalangeal joint, reducing pressures in the region of the metatarsal heads. Insoles custom-moulded to patient's feet help to reduce plantar pressures and minimise the risk of ulceration in the forefoot region. The loss of subcutaneous fat tissue in the diabetic foot enhances bony prominences and predisposes the foot to high-pressure areas. Silicone is a biocompatible material that can be safely injected into plantar soft tissue to augment tissue thickness and prevent the development of ulceration. This enhancement to the subcutaneous layer is remarkably well retained and is a generally well-adopted procedure in the clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Foot / etiology
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Foot Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Pressure / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoes
  • Silicone Gels / administration & dosage


  • Silicone Gels