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Diabet Med. 2002 Dec;19(12):1009-13.

Ultrasonography of plantar soft tissues thickness in young people with diabetes.

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University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia.



The aims of this study were to examine soft tissue changes in the skin and plantar aponeurosis of young people with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and to evaluate any relationship between any soft tissue changes, arch length, limited joint mobility (LJM) and plantar pressure.


The thickness of the skin on the plantar surface of the foot and plantar aponeurosis were examined using ultrasound in 216 young people with diabetes and 57 controls. Foot length, arch length, joint mobility, peak pressure and pressure time integrals were evaluated.


Skin was not significantly thicker in the diabetic subjects. The plantar aponeurosis was significantly thicker in the diabetic subjects and was associated with foot size, male gender and subtalar joint (ST) LJM (P < 0.01). Males were nearly three times more likely to have thickened plantar aponeurosis.


Soft tissue thickening in young people with T1DM affects the deeper structures on the plantar surface of the foot rather than the skin. Thickening of the plantar aponeurosis was associated with LJM at the ST joint and male gender, but was not associated with plantar pressure or arch height changes. Plantar aponeurosis thickening does not appear to alter foot mechanics in young people with T1DM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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