This study was undertaken to establish whether reduced dorsiflexion at the first metatarsophalangeal joint affects sagittal plane kinematics at the ankle, knee, and hip. Twenty individuals with symptom-free metatarsophalangeal joints were studied as they walked with and without an insole designed to restrict first metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion. Sagittal plane kinematics at the ankle, knee, and hip were compared in the two conditions. When walking with the insole, the ankle was more dorsiflexed during late midstance and less plantarflexed during propulsion, the knee was more flexed during midstance, and the hip was less extended during late midstance. This evidence of a link between the first metatarsophalangeal joint and the kinematics of the proximal joints demonstrates the potential for the clinical entities of hallux rigidus and hallux limitus to influence gait and justifies more detailed study of this relationship. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(3): 269–274, 2004)
Corresponding author: Christopher J. Nester, PhD, Centre for Rehabilitation and Human Performance Research, School of Health Care Professions, Brian Blatchford Bldg, University of Salford, Salford M6 6PU, England.