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Association of Footprint Measurements with Plantar Kinetics

A Linear Regression Model

Jeanna M. Fascione Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio, Inc, Mentor, OH.
Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research, Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL.

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Ryan T. Crews Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research, Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL.

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James S. Wrobel Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes; Department of Internal Medicine; University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI.

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Background

The use of foot measurements to classify morphology and interpret foot function remains one of the focal concepts of lower-extremity biomechanics. However, only 27% to 55% of midfoot variance in foot pressures has been determined in the most comprehensive models. We investigated whether dynamic walking footprint measurements are associated with inter-individual foot loading variability.

Methods

Thirty individuals (15 men and 15 women; mean ± SD age, 27.17 ± 2.21 years) walked at a self-selected speed over an electronic pedography platform using the midgait technique. Kinetic variables (contact time, peak pressure, pressure-time integral, and force-time integral) were collected for six masked regions. Footprints were digitized for area and linear boundaries using digital photo planimetry software. Six footprint measurements were determined: contact area, footprint index, arch index, truncated arch index, Chippaux-Smirak index, and Staheli index. Linear regression analysis with a Bonferroni adjustment was performed to determine the association between the footprint measurements and each of the kinetic variables.

Results

The findings demonstrate that a relationship exists between increased midfoot contact and increased kinetic values in respective locations. Many of these variables produced large effect sizes while describing 38% to 71% of the common variance of select plantar kinetic variables in the medial midfoot region. In addition, larger footprints were associated with larger kinetic values at the medial heel region and both masked forefoot regions.

Conclusions

Dynamic footprint measurements are associated with dynamic plantar loading kinetics, with emphasis on the midfoot region.

Corresponding author: Jeanna M. Fascione, DPM, Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research, Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Rd, North Chicago, IL 60305. (E-mail: jeanna.fascione@gmail.com)