The effectiveness of felt padding for offloading diabetes-related foot ulcers, at baseline and after one week of wear

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Authors: Raspovic,A.;Waller,K.;Wong,W. M.

Publication: Diabetes research and clinical practice

Year: 2016

Volume: 121

Start Page: 166

ABSTRACT:

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.

  • Listing ID: 4662
  • Author/s: Raspovic,A.;Waller,K.;Wong,W. M.
  • Publication: Diabetes research and clinical practice
  • Year: 2016
  • Volume: 121
  • Start Page: 166
  • Article Keywords: Diabetes;Felt padding;Foot ulcer;Offloading;Pressure