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Sensitivity and Specificity of the Functional Hallux Limitus Test to Predict Foot Function

Craig Payne DipPod, MPH1, Vivienne Chuter BPod(Hons)2, and Kathryn Miller BPod3
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  • 1 Lecturer, Department of Podiatry, School of Human Biosciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia.
  • | 2 Postgraduate student, Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • | 3 Research Assistant, Department of Podiatry, School of Human Biosciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.
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Functional hallux limitus is an underrecognized entity that generally does not produce symptoms but can result in a variety of compensatory mechanisms that can produce symptoms. Clinically, hallux limitus can be determined by assessing the range of motion available at the first metatarsophalangeal joint while the first ray is prevented from plantarflexing. The aim of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of this clinical test to predict abnormal excessive midtarsal joint function during gait. A total of 86 feet were examined for functional hallux limitus and abnormal pronation of the midtarsal joint during late midstance. The test had a sensitivity of 0.72 and a specificity of 0.66, suggesting that clinicians should consider functional hallux limitus when there is late midstance pronation of the midtarsal joint during gait. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(5): 269-271, 2002)