Finite element analysis of the foot-shoe interface in diabetic patients

T. T.Y. Shiang*, P. R. Cavanagh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to compare the plantar pressures under the foot with different soft tissue and footwear conditions using the finite element method (FEM). A linear two-dimensional (2-D) finite element model of the second metatarsal and associated soft tissues with different footwear was developed using the ANSYS finite element package. Three different soft tissue conditions (normal tissue, displaced adipose tissue and scar tissue) and three different footwear conditions (cushioned shoe, leather soled shoe and barefoot) were studied in this study. The peak stresses predicted by the model under normal tissue in cushioned shoe, leather soled shoe and barefoot conditions were 0.20, 033 and 0.38 MPa, respectively. The peak stresses under the foot with displaced adipose tissue in the same footwear conditions were predicted to be 0.51, 0.99 and 1.44 MPa, respectively. The results agree with clinical observation that poor footwear and absence of adipose tissue can lead to a mechanically induced plantar ulcer in an insensitive foot.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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