The effectiveness of felt padding for offloading diabetes-related foot ulcers, at baseline and after one week of wear
616 views / Popular
Authors: Raspovic,A.;Waller,K.;Wong,W. M.
Publication: Diabetes research and clinical practice
Start Page: 166
AIM: Felt padding is used to offload diabetes-related foot ulceration although limited quality data exists to support its use. This study aimed to quantify pressure offloading from neuropathic plantar foot ulcers in a clinical setting, when felt padding is first applied and after wear.
METHODS: This study used a within-subjects, repeated measures design. Data was collected in a high-risk foot service. Peak plantar pressures, contact area and contact time were measured in 15 diabetes subjects with 16 non-complicated plantar neuropathic foot ulcers, with: no felt padding, newly applied felt padding and felt padding after one week of wear.
RESULTS: Statistically significant decreases in peak pressure of 49% and 32% were measured with newly applied felt padding (188.0kPa; p<0.001) and worn felt padding (248kPa; p=0.003) respectively, compared to no padding (367.2kPa). Worn felt offloaded 32% less pressure than new felt however this did not reach statistical significance (p=.069). Corresponding increases in contact area of 18% and 14% occurred with newly applied felt padding (156.9cm2; p<.001) and worn felt padding (150.6cm2; p=0.003) compared to no padding (132.5cm2). Contact time was constant across testing conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: New felt padding offloaded on average half the pressure applied to sites of plantar neuropathic ulceration, which reduced to one third after wear. Increased contact area under the foot is a possible mechanism contributing to pressure reduction. Further studies are required to evaluate effectiveness of felt padding directly on ulcer healing.