To compare the effectiveness of total contact casts, commercially available therapeutic shoes, and removable walking casts to reduce mean peak plantar foot pressures at the site of neuropathic ulcerations in diabetic subjects.


We compared the reduction in peak plantar pressures at ulcer sites under the great toe (n = 5), first metatarsal (n = 10), and second through fifth metatarsals (n = 10) using six treatments: total contact casts (TCCs), DH Pressure Relief Walkers (DH), Aircast Pneumatic Walkers, Three D Dura-Steppers (3D), CAM Walkers, and P.W. Minor Xtra Depth shoes. A rubber sole canvas oxford was used to establish baseline pressure values. The canvas oxford could be viewed as a worse-case scenario for this patient population. With the EMED Pedar in-shoe pressure measurement system, data for 40 steps were collected for each treatment. We used Tukey's Studentized Range Test for simultaneous multiple comparisons to compare treatments.


DH Pressure Relief Walkers reduced plantar pressures significantly better than other commercially available treatments for ulcers under the first metatarsal, second through fifth metatarsals, and great toe (P < 0.05). There was not a significant difference in mean peak plantar pressures between TCCs and DHs at any of the forefoot ulcer sites.


DH Pressure Relief Walkers were as effective as total contact casts to reduce foot pressures at ulcer sites and may be an effective practical addition in the treatment of foot ulcers.

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