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Vol. 36 No. 3, July 1999


Abstract - New On-line Parameters for Analysis of Dynamic Foot Pressures in Neuropathic Feet of Hansen's Disease Subjects

Mahesh M. Bhatia, MS and K.M. Patil, DSc

Biomedical Engineering Division, Department of Applied Mechanics, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras-600036, India

Abstract--Pressures on the foot during walking are affected by the weight of the person and the walking velocity. It is also found that both the magnitude and duration of the dynamic foot pressures are important in ulcer formation in the neuropathic feet of persons with Hansen's disease (HD). Therefore, new parameters, Normalized Peak Pressure (NPP) and Pressure Contact Ratio (PCR), are calculated from dynamic foot pressure data in 10 defined areas of the feet of 52 nonimpaired controls and 108 persons with HD with different pathologies, using a long barograph that could accommodate at least two foot prints in one walking cycle. Statistical study of these new parameters, for various classes of HD subjects, shows significantly different mean values in the foot areas and hence could aid the clinician in better diagnosis and therapy planning. The second part of the article deals with on-line calculations and gray scale display of these parameter transforms for all the points on the plantar surfaces of both feet in a way that could help the clinician in quick analysis and better management and care of neuropathic feet.

Key words: dynamic foot pressures, Hansen's disease, neuropathy, on-line pressure parameters, optical pedobarograph.

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