Aims: To assess the value of using in-shoe plantar pressure analysis to improve and preserve the offloading properties of custom-made footwear in patients with diabetes.
Methods: Dynamic in-shoe plantar pressures were measured in new custom-made footwear of 117 patients with diabetes, neuropathy, and a healed plantar foot ulcer. In 85 of these patients, high peak pressure locations (peak pressure > 200 kPa) were targeted for pressure reduction (goal: > 25% relief or below an absolute level of 200 kPa) by modifying the footwear. After each of a maximum three rounds of modifications, pressures were measured. In a subgroup of 32 patients, pressures were measured and, if needed, footwear was modified at 3-monthly visits for 1 year. Pressures were compared with those measured in 32 control patients who had no footwear modifications based on pressure analysis.
Results: At the previous ulcer location and the highest and second highest pressure locations, peak pressures were significantly reduced by 23%, 21% and 15%, respectively, after modification of footwear. These lowered pressures were maintained or further reduced over time and were significantly lower, by 24-28%, compared with pressures in the control group.
Conclusion: The offloading capacity of custom-made footwear for high-risk patients can be effectively improved and preserved using in-shoe plantar pressure analysis as guidance tool for footwear modification. This provides a useful approach to obtain better offloading footwear that may reduce the risk for pressure-related diabetic foot ulcers.
© 2012 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.