Fernando M, Crowther R, Cunningham M, Lazzarini P, Sangla K, Buttner P & Golledge J (2016) The reproducibility of acquiring three dimensional gait and plantar pressure data using established protocols in participants with and without type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 9, Art. No.: 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13047-016-0135-8
Several prospective studies have suggested that gait and plantar pressure abnormalities secondary to diabetic peripheral neuropathy contributes to foot ulceration. There are many different methods by which gait and plantar pressures are assessed and currently there is no agreed standardised approach. This study aimed to describe the methods and reproducibility of three-dimensional gait and plantar pressure assessments in a small subset of participants using pre-existing protocols.
Fourteen participants were conveniently sampled prior to a planned longitudinal study; four patients with diabetes and plantar foot ulcers, five patients with diabetes but no foot ulcers and five healthy controls. The repeatability of measuring key biomechanical data was assessed including the identification of 16 key anatomical landmarks, the measurement of seven leg dimensions, the processing of 22 three-dimensional gait parameters and the analysis of four different plantar pressures measures at 20 foot regions.
The mean inter-observer differences were within the pre-defined acceptable level (<7mm) for 100% (16 of 16) of key anatomical landmarks measured for gait analysis. The intra-observer assessment concordance correlation coefficients were > 0.9 for 100% (7 of 7) of leg dimensions. The coefficients of variations (CVs) were within the pre-defined acceptable level (<10%) for 100% (22 of 22) of gait parameters. The CVs were within the pre-defined acceptable level (<30%) for 95% (19 of 20) of the contact area measures, 85% (17 of 20) of mean plantar pressures, 70% (14 of 20) of pressure time integrals and 55% (11 of 20) of maximum sensor plantar pressure measures.
Overall, the findings of this study suggest that important gait and plantar pressure measurements can be reliably acquired. Nearly all measures contributing to three-dimensional gait parameter assessments were within predefined acceptable limits. Most plantar pressure measurements were also within predefined acceptable limits; however, reproducibility was not as good for assessment of the maximum sensor pressure. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the reproducibility of several biomechanical methods in a heterogeneous cohort.
Diabetic foot; Reproducibility of results; Gait; Locomotion; Plantar pressure; Foot ulcer
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research: Volume 9
|Publication date online||29/01/2016|
|Date accepted by journal||16/01/2016|