The Thermo-Pressure Concept: A New Model in Diabetic Foot Risk Stratification
Abstract: Elevated foot pressure and high temperatures have been proposed as predictive factors for diabetic foot ulceration; however, on their own, their predictive value is still questionable. This pilot study hypothesized that combining these two measurements in a thermo-pressure model could result in a more reliable risk assessment tool for providing risk categorization aimed to determine whether there is a correlation between foot plantar pressure and temperature in patients living with diabetes mellitus (DM) when compared with healthy individuals following a 15 min walk. Foot pressure and thermographic images were taken from 48 participants who were categorised into four groups following clinical evaluation into healthy individuals (Group A), living with DM with no complications (Group B), DM with peripheral arterial disease (Group C) and DM patients with neuropathy (Group D). This study demonstrated a positive correlation between pressure and temperature; as pressure increases, so does temperature. This was more pronounced in the groups with DM when compared to the healthy group. More research is warranted to further develop this innovative thermo-pressure model, which could hopefully be more sensitive in categorizing and identifying patients living with DM who are at risk of developing foot ulceration to initiate prompt care.