The purpose of our study was to examine dynamic foot function during gait as it relates to plantar loading in individuals with DM (diabetes mellitus and neuropathy) compared to matched control subjects. Foot mobility during gait was examined using a multi-segment kinematic model, and plantar loading was measured using a pedobarograph in subjects with DM (N = 15), control subjects (N = 15). Pearson product moment correlation was used to assess the relationship between variables of interest. Statistical significance and equality of correlations were assessed using approximate tests based on Fisher's Z transformation (α = 0.05). In individuals with DM, first metatarsal sagittal plane excursion during gait was negatively associated with pressure time integral under the medial forefoot (r = -0.42 and -0.06, DM and Ctrl, P = 0.02). Similarly, lateral forefoot sagittal plane excursion during gait was negatively associated with pressure time integral under the lateral forefoot (r = -0.56 and -0.11, DM and Ctrl, P = 0.02). Frontal plane excursion of the calcaneus was negatively associated with medial (r = -0.57 and 0.12, DM and Ctrl, P < 0.01) and lateral (r = -0.51 and 0.13, DM and Ctrl, P < 0.01) heel and medial forefoot pressure time integral (r = -0.56 and -0.02, DM and Ctrl, P < 0.01). The key findings of our study indicate that reductions in segmental foot mobility were accompanied by increases in local loading in subjects with DM. Reduction in frontal plane calcaneal mobility during walking serves as an important functional marker of loss of foot flexibility in subjects with DM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine