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A Quick and Reliable Procedure for Assessing Foot Alignment in Athletes

Luciana De Michelis Mendonça Laboratory of Sports Injuries and Prevention, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Natália Franco Netto Bittencourt Laboratory of Sports Injuries and Prevention, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Minas Tenis Clube, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Giovanna Mendes Amaral Laboratory of Sports Injuries and Prevention, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Lívia Santos Diniz Laboratory of Sports Injuries and Prevention, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Thales Rezende Souza Laboratory of Sports Injuries and Prevention, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Departamento de Fisioterapia, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Sérgio Teixeira da Fonseca Laboratory of Sports Injuries and Prevention, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Departamento de Fisioterapia, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Background:

Quick procedures with proper psychometric properties that can capture the combined alignment of the foot-ankle complex in a position that may be more representative of the status of the lower limb during ground contact are essential for assessing a large group of athletes.

Methods:

The assessed lower limb was positioned with the calcaneus surface facing upward in a way that all of the marks could be seen at the center of the camera display. After guaranteeing maintenance of the foot at 90° of dorsiflexion actively sustained by the athlete, the examiner took the picture of the foot-ankle alignment.

Results:

Intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.82 to 0.93 demonstrated excellent intratester and intertester reliability for the proposed measurements of forefoot, rearfoot, and shank-forefoot alignments. The intraclass correlation coefficient between the shank-forefoot measures and the sum of the rearfoot and forefoot measures was 0.98, suggesting that the shank-forefoot alignment measures can represent the combined rearfoot and forefoot alignments.

Conclusions:

This study describes a reliable and practical measurement procedure for rearfoot, forefoot, and shank-forefoot alignments that can be applied to clinical and research situations as a screening procedure for risk factors for lower-limb injuries in athletes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(5): 405–410, 2013)

Corresponding author: Sérgio Teixeira da Fonseca, ScD, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia, e Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Pres. Antônio Carlos, 6627 Campus, Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, MG, CEP 31270-901, Brazil. (E-mail: sergioteixeirafonseca@gmail.com)