A Comparison of the Aircast™ and Airstep™ Walkers Off-Loading Capabilities: A Pilot Study

Claire Kennedy

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


It is estimated that there are currently 3.2 million individuals in the UK who are diagnosed with Diabetes Myelitis (DM), whereof 2.5 percent are affected by foot complications. Ischemia, neuropathy and infection are the three pathological components that lead to diabetic foot complications. The most common trauma, plantar ulceration, arise from extrinsic or intrinsic mechanical stress, with high peak pressures identified as a major contributor. Consequently, total contact casts, or removable walkers have been clinically used to relieve these pressures.
This project has investigated the commercially available Aircast™ and Airstep™ Walker Systems in relation to their respective off-loading capabilities. The validated Tekscan™ in-shoe pressure measurement system was utilised to monitor loading patterns during static and dynamic walking tests. In addition the off-loading effect from the embedded adjustable air bladder system and product specific rocker sole profile was investigated.
Results indicated that the Airstep™ from Promedics Orthopaedics ltd. demonstrated a superior offloading and greater reduced peak pressures for the tested (n=2) subjects. It is acknowledged that a more extensive study with a substantial sample size is required to draw any clinical relevant and significant conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
  • Buis, Arjan, Supervisor
  • Solomonidis, Stephanos, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • off-loading
  • diabetes
  • ridgid walkers
  • pressure distribution
  • tekscan


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