Toe pressures and the toe brachial index (TBI) represent possible screening tools for peripheral arterial disease; however, limited evidence is available regarding their reliability. The aim of this study was to determine intratester and intertester reliability of toe systolic pressure and the TBI in participants with and without diabetes performed by podiatric physicians.
Two podiatric physicians performed toe and brachial pressure measurements on 80 participants, 40 with and 40 without diabetes, during two testing sessions using photoplethysmography and Doppler probe. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and 95% limits of agreement were determined.
In people with diabetes, intratester reliability of toe pressure measurement was excellent for both testers (ICCs, 0.84 and 0.82). Reliability of the TBI was good (ICCs, 0.72 and 0.75) and brachial pressure fair (ICCs, 0.43 and 0.55). The intertester reliability of toe pressure (ICC, 0.82) and the TBI (ICC, 0.80) was excellent. Intertester reliability of brachial pressure was reduced in people with diabetes (ICC, 0.49). In age-matched participants, intratester reliability of toe pressure measurement was excellent for both testers (ICCs, 0.83 and 0.87), and reliability of the TBI (ICCs, 0.74 and 0.80) and brachial pressure (ICCs, 0.73 and 0.78) was good to excellent. Intertester reliability of toe pressure (ICC, 0.84), the TBI (ICC, 0.81), and brachial pressure (ICC, 0.77) was excellent.
Toe pressures and the TBI demonstrated excellent reliability in people with and without diabetes and can be an effective component of lower-extremity vascular screening. However, wide limits of agreement relative to blood pressure values for both cohorts indicate that results should be interpreted with caution.
Neutral-position casting of the foot is used for the manufacture of functional foot orthoses, and an accurate cast is widely assumed to be a prerequisite for a good orthotic device. The primary aim of this study was to determine the variability of casting between inexperienced and experienced clinicians and the variability of one experienced clinician taking multiple casts. Ten inexperienced and ten experienced clinicians took a cast of the right foot of a single subject, and a single experienced clinician took ten casts of the same foot. The frontal plane forefoot-to-rearfoot relationship of each cast was determined, and no difference was found in the mean and variances among the three groups. The range of the forefoot-to-rearfoot relationship across all groups was from 10.0° everted to 6.5° inverted, indicating that there is a wide range in neutral-position casting of the foot. As outcome studies have reported the successful outcomes of functional foot orthoses, this wide variability may not necessarily be a problem. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(1): 1-5, 2003)
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)