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The windlass mechanism, first described by John Hicks in 1954, defines the anatomical and biomechanical relationship between the hallux and the plantar fascia. Hallux valgus (HV) and plantar fasciitis are the most common foot disorders, and, to date, no study has evaluated the relationship between these disorders. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of and factors associated with plantar fasciitis in patients with HV deformity.
In this prospective observational study, 486 patients with HV were divided into three groups according to stage of HV deformity. Patient sex, age, and body mass index were recorded. Presence of accompanying plantar fasciitis and heel spur was investigated by physical and radiographic examination. First metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion of the affected side was measured. Patients with or without plantar fasciitis were also compared to evaluate factors associated with plantar fasciitis.
Mean age and body mass index of the patients were significantly different among the three HV groups. The incidence of plantar fasciitis and heel spur significantly increased in correlation with the severity of HV deformity. Increased age and HV stage and decreased first metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion were significantly associated with presence of plantar fasciitis in HV.
In this study, the incidence of plantar fasciitis was significantly increased in correlation with the severity of HV deformity. Significant association was found between plantar fasciitis and HV, which are anatomically and biomechanically related to each other by the windlass mechanism.