Objective—To evaluate the ability of industrial polystyrene foam insulation pads to redistribute loads placed on clinically normal weight-bearing structures of the foot and shift the location of the center of pressure palmarly in horses.
Animals—25 nonlame mature horses.
Procedures—Both forefeet from each horse were evaluated. Center of pressure data and solar load distribution patterns were recorded during a 5-second trial by use of a commercial pressure measurement system prior to placement of foam sole support and at 0, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours after placement. Total contact surface area, contact pressure, peak contact pressure, and center of pressure positions were compared by use of a linear mixed model with repeated measurements.
Results—Total contact surface area was increased significantly at all time points, whereas contact pressure and peak contact pressure were significantly decreased at all time points following application of foam sole supports. Immediately following application of sole support, the position of the center of pressure was significantly moved cranially. However, by 48 hours, the center of pressure was significantly positioned more palmarly than prior to application of the foam supports.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the use of foam sole supports may be an effective, economical, and immediate treatment for acute laminitis.