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Sectioning the Plantar Fascia

Effect on First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Motion

Francois M. Harton Submitted during third-year residency, Northlake Regional Medical Center, Tucker, GA; Member, The Podiatry Institute, Tucker, GA; private practice, 904 S Washington, Ste 130, Holland, MI 49423.

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Steven A. Weiskopf Submitted during second-year residency, Northlake Regional Medical Center, Tucker, GA; Member, The Podiatry Institute, Tucker, GA; private practice, Smyrna, GA.

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Robert M. Goecker Member, The Podiatry Institute, Tucker, GA; private practice, Sarasota, FL.

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A study on the effect of sectioning the plantar fascia on the range of motion at the first metatarsophalangeal joint is presented. Dorsiflexion and plantarflexion range-of-motion data from 18 patients who had no first metatarsophalangeal joint pathology and had undergone an in-step plantar fasciotomy for recalcitrant plantar fasciitis were analyzed. The average increase in dorsiflexion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint after plantar fascia release was 9.8°, which represented a statistically significant increase using a paired t-test. Thus release of the plantar fascia can be considered a potential adjunct to hallux limitus surgery. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(10): 532-536, 2002)