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A new method of analysis of standing foot pressure images for detection of the plantar ulcers in early-stage diabetic neuropathy

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In this paper, studies are performed on a large number of diabetic patients belonging to different levels of plantar sensation loss, by analyzing the standing foot pressure images in the frequency domain. A new parameter, the power ratio (PR, the ratio of high frequency power to the total power in an image), is used to distinguish between foot pressure image patterns of diabetic neuropathic subjects (at different levels of sensation loss) and those of normal feet. The foot areas of the diabetic subjects are scanned in 10 specified areas using Semmes Weinstein's nylon monofilaments to quantify the diabetic neuropathy. A statistical study of the mean values of this parameter in different plantar areas of the feet for different levels of diabetic neuropathy indicates distinguishing trends. The result could help in the early detection of low-level sensation loss by establishing the threshold of the PR in a particular area above which there could be the possibility of plantar ulcer formation. This information could be utilized by orthopedic surgeons to devise early corrective methods to protect the feet from further damage due to plantar ulcers.


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