Journal of Biomechanics vol:42 issue:1 pages:87-90
Plantar pressure measurement provides important information about the structure and function of the foot and is a helpful tool to evaluate patients with foot complaints. In general, average and maximum plantar pressure of 6-11 areas under the foot are used to compare groups of subjects. However, masking the foot means a loss of important information about the plantar pressure distribution pattern. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and test a simple method that normalizes the plantar pressure pattern for foot size, foot progression angle, and total plantar pressure. Moreover, scaling the plantar pressure to a standard foot opens the door for more sophisticated analysis techniques such as pattern recognition and machine learning. Twelve subjects walked at preferred and half of the preferred walking speed over a pressure plate. To test the method, subjects walked in a straight line and in an approaching angle of approximately 40 degrees . To calculate the normalized foot, the plantar pressure pattern was rotated over the foot progression angle and normalized for foot size. After normalization, the mean shortest distance between the contour lines of straight walking and walking at an angle had a mean of 0.22 cm (SD: 0.06 cm) for the forefoot and 0.14 cm (SD: 0.06 cm) for the heel. In addition, the contour lines of normalized feet for the various subjects were almost identical. The proposed method appeared to be successful in aligning plantar pressure of various feet without losing information.