The clinical use of pedobarography.

Published online: Mar 27 1993

J Hughes.

University Department of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery, Royal Liverpool Hospital, United Kingdom.


Several years' experience with different pedobarograph systems has demonstrated that foot pressure measurements can be used as a clinical tool. This tool can aid a surgeon's decision making, but it cannot be used diagnostically in isolation from clinical data. The clinical uses are both direct and indirect. The direct uses can be summarized as follows: to assess the effect of treatment by examination before and after a surgical procedure; to monitor progress by means of sequential measurements and to design and assess the effectiveness of orthoses. These uses are demonstrated with reference to a number of studies of normal subjects compared to patient groups using the dynamic pedobarograph. Indirect uses come from the growing body of knowledge emerging from laboratories using this equipment for research. This is helping us to understand weightbearing foot function both in health and disease. Clinicians intending to invest in the equipment can also obtain useful guidelines on the reliability of the different systems and measurements and best ways to standardize methodology. Some examples of these indirect uses are illustrated with results from studies using the dynamic pedobarograph and the EMED F system.