The 28th Annual Meeting of European Orthopaedic Research Society, İzmir, Turkey, 17 - 18 September 2020, pp.80
Differences at motor control strategies to provide dynamic balance in various tasks in diabetic polyneuropatic (DPN) patients due to losing the lower extremity somatosensory information were reported in the literature. It has been stated that dynamics of center of mass (CoM) is controlled by center of pressure (CoP) during human upright standing and active daily movements. Indeed analyzing kinematic trajectories of joints unveil motor control strategies stabilizing CoM. Nevertheless, we hypothesized that imbalance disorders/CoM destabilization observed at DPN patients due to lack of tactile information about the base of support cannot be explained only by looking at joint kinematics, rather functional foot usage is proposed to be an important counterpart at controlling CoM.
In this study, we included 14 DPN patients, who are diagnosed through clinical examination and electroneuromyography, and age matched 14 healthy subjects (HS) to identify control strategies in functional reach test (FRT). After measuring participants’ foot arch index (FAI) by a custom-made archmeter, they were tested by using a force plate, motion analysis system, surface electromyography and pressure pad, all working in synchronous during FRT. We analyzed data to determine effect of structural and functional foot pathologies due to neuropathy on patient performance and postural control estimating FAI, reach length (FR), FR to height (H) ratio (FR/H; normalized FR with respect to height), displacement of CoM and CoP in anteroposterior direction only, moment arm (MA, defined as the difference between CoP and CoM at the end of FRT), ankle, knee and hip joint angles computed at the sagittal plane for both extremities. Kinematic metrics included initial and final joint angles, defined with respect to start and end of reaching respectively. Further difference in the final and initial joint angles was defined as Δ.
FAI was founded significantly lower in DPN patients (DPN: 0.3404; HS: 0.3643, p= <0.05). The patients’ FR, FR/H and absolute MA and displacement of CoM were significantly shorter than the control group (p= <0.05). Displacement of CoP between the two groups were not significant. Further we observed that CoM was lacking CoP in DPN patients (mean MA: +0.88 cm), while leading CoP in HS (mean MA: −1.59 cm) at the end of FRT. All initial angles were similar in two groups, however in DPN patients final right and left hip flexion angle (p=0.016 and p=0.028 respectively) and left ankle plantar flexion angle (p=0.04) were smaller than HS significantly. DPN patients had significantly less (p=0.029) hip flexion (mean at right hip angle, Δ=25.0°) compared to HS (Δ=33.53°) and ankle plantar flexion (DPN mean at right ankle angle, Δ=6.42°, HS mean Δ=9.07°; p=0.05).
The results suggest that movement of both hip and ankle joints was limited simultaneously in DPN patients causing lack of CoM with respect to CoP at the end of reaching with significantly lower FAI. These results lead to the fact that cutaneous and joint somatosensory information from foot and ankle along with the structure of foot arch may play an important role in maintaining dynamic balance and performance of environmental context. In further studies, we expect to show that difference at control strategies in DPN patients due to restricted functional foot usage might be a good predictor of how neuropathy evolves to change biomechanical aspects of biped erect posture.