Volume 51 Number 2, 2014
Pages 311 — 324
Abstract — Orthotic insoles are commonly used in the treatment of the diabetic foot to prevent ulcerations. Choosing suitable insole material is vital for effective foot orthotic treatment. We examined seven types of orthotic materials. In consideration of the key requirements and end uses of orthotic insoles for the diabetic foot, including accommodation, cushioning, and control, we developed test methods for examining important physical properties, such as force reduction and compression properties, insole-skin friction, and shear properties, as well as thermal comfort properties of fabrication materials. A novel performance index that combines various material test results together was also proposed to quantify the overall performance of the insole materials. The investigation confirms that the insole-sock interface has a lower coefficient of friction and shearing stress than those of the insole-skin interface. It is also revealed that material brand and the corresponding density and cell volume, as well as thickness, are closely associated with the performance of moisture absorption and thermal comfort. On the basis of the proposed performance index, practitioners can better understand the properties and performance of various insole materials, thus prescribing suitable orthotic insoles for patients with diabetic foot.
Key words: diabetic foot, friction, insole materials, performance index, physical properties, pressure redistribution, orthotic insoles, shearing, thermal comfort properties, ulceration.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, May 7, 2014 1:30 PM