Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a major sequela of diabetes mellitus and may have a detrimental effect on the gait of people with this complication. DPN causes a disruption in the body’s sensorimotor system and is believed to affect up to 50% of patients with diabetes mellitus, dependent on the duration of diabetes. It has a major effect on morbidity and mortality. The peripheral nervous system controls the complex series of events in gait through somatic and autonomic functions, careful balancing of eccentric and concentric muscle contractions and a reliance on the sensory information received from the plantar surface. In this literature review focussing on kinetics, kinematics and posture during gait in DPN patients, we have identified an intimate link between DPN and abnormalities in gait and demonstrated an increased risk in falls for older patients with diabetes. As such, we have identified a need for further research on the role of gait abnormalities in the development of diabetic foot ulceration and subsequent amputations.
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Plantar pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism