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Available evidence suggest that the biomechanics of the foot, and hence gait, may be altered prior to foot ulceration among patients with diabetes.
This may arise due to neuropathy, foot deformities and limited joint mobility from non-enzymatic glycosylation of periarticular connective tissues.
Invariably, parameters that characterize foot biomechanics and gait may be affected by the pathological evolution of diabetes.
Thus, detailed analysis of the gait of diabetic patients may have the potential of identifying risk predictors that may have diagnostic utility in high-risk patients, and therefore, lead to targeted interventions that could effectively prevent lower extremity amputation arising from diabetic foot ulcer and gangrene.
This understanding led to the identification of forefoot/rearfoot load ratio, using the modified velocity field diagram (MVFD), as an important biomechanical input, to develop a predictive system with useful application in screening for patients at high-risk of foot ulcer.
MVFD is a simple technology that is cost and maintenance free.
Its knowledge may find useful application in diabetic clinics and rehabilitation centres by Physiotherapists/physicians
Sam Ibeneme is an experienced Physiotherapist, and a specialist in clinical gait analysis.
He is a senior lecturer and former Head, Department of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, who has taught, and been involved in various research works covering orthpaedics & sports medicine, clinical biomechanics, and kinesiology.
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