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Plantar Pressure Measurement

Plantar Pressure Measurement

Pressure picture of neuropathic foot

Pressure picture of non-neuropathic foot

Plantar Pressure Measurement is a diagnostic tool for an early recognition of altered pressure patterns in the individual with diabetes. In the early 1980's, studies were first published looking at the changes in dynamic pressure distribution patterns of persons with diabetes conducted in England with the Pedobarograph.

The foot pressure sensor plate model PODIASTAT is an accurate electronic system for recording and evaluating pressure distribution under the foot in static (weight-bearing), dynamic(walking) and postural conditions. Foot pressure mapping system Podiastat is a measuring tool for the early recognition of altered pressure patterns in the individual with diabetes. It was documented that during walking, the neuropathic patients exhibit a slap gait. The Charcot of foot displays higher pressure in the midfoot region as compared to the typical diabetic foot pattern. Information derived from such pressure measures is important in gait and posture research for diagnosing lower limb problems, footwear design, sports biomechanics, injury prevention and other applications. Plantar pressure, however, has great potentialities in the field of research but even more in Clinics and Podiatry. When compared with other assessment devices typically used in gait analysis, pressure measurement systems are easier to implement and use, less time-consuming, less expensive than complex gait analysis equipment. Measurements are more easily acquired, processed, and interpreted, and they are meaningful and effective in the assessment or in the monitoring of any foot or ankle treatment. Although plantar pressure data have been recognized as an important element in the assessment of clients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, information derived from plantar pressure data also can assist in determining and managing the impairments associated with various musculoskeletal, integumentary, and neurological disorders.

A review of the pressure picture gives the following basic information: The entire display of the maximum pressure picture allows for comparisons of foot regions. It may be necessary to consider the duration of contact in addition to the absolute pressures. The Charcot foot displays higher pressures in the midfoot region as compared to the typical diabetic foot pattern. These systems may aid early detection of deformed feet and malfunction. Naturally, the pressure picture of the neuropathic diabetic patient can be influenced by foot deformities and incorrect foot function. In any case, the specific foot regions with higher pressures indicate greater risk for tissue breakdown. In addition to the standard therapy for diabetic patients, an altered load on the foot with localized high pressures may require immediate foot treatment with appropriate footwear and pressure relieving orthotics.

Under no circumstances should these individuals walk barefoot because plantar pressures will increase dramatically, and the foot is left unprotected. Shoes and orthotics should be fabricated by a trained professional. The 1:1 hardcopy of the platform measurement provides a baseline for the construction of the shoe insert. The patient should be instructed to examine their feet on a regular basis. During the patient visit, the color display and printout may be used to educate the individual about the areas of concern. Podiastat is a quick measurement tool and it does not place any burden on the individual's feet. This is precisely why pressure assessment is so valuable. The objective for health professionals is to reduce ulceration and amputation in the diabetic population. Podiastat is a cost-effective method to help reach this goal.