The purpose of this study was to determine feasibility of further investigation of treatment with instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (IASTM), using the Graston technique, compared with conservative care for treatment of chronic plantar heel pain (CPHP).
Eleven participants with plantar heel pain lasting 6 weeks to 1 year were randomly assigned to one of two groups, with each group receiving up to eight physical therapy visits. Both groups received the same stretching, exercise, and home program, but the experimental group also received IASTM using the Graston technique. Outcome measures of pain and function were recorded at baseline, after final treatment, and 90 days later. Feasibility of a larger study was determined considering recruitment and retention rates, compliance, successful application of the protocol and estimates of the treatment effect.
Both groups demonstrated improvements in current pain (pain at time of survey), pain with the first step in the morning, and function after final treatment and at 90-day follow up. Medium-to-large effect sizes between groups were noted, and sample size estimates demonstrated a need for at least 42 participants to realize a group difference. A larger-scale study was determined to be feasible with modifications including a larger sample size and higher recruitment rate.
This pilot study demonstrates that inclusion of IASTM using the Graston technique for CPHP lasting longer than 6 weeks is a feasible intervention warranting further study. Clinically important changes in the IASTM group and moderate-to-large between-group effect sizes suggest that further research is warranted to determine whether these trends are meaningful.
The low-Dye strap is used routinely to temporarily control pronation of the foot and, thereby, to diagnose and treat pronatory sequelae. However, the exact biomechanical effects of this strapping technique on the foot are not well documented. The main purpose of this study was to establish the specific mechanical effects of the low-Dye strap on the pronatory foot. Within this context, the specific aim was to assess the effect of the low-Dye strap on three distinct pronation-sensitive mechanical attributes of the foot in the weightbearing state: 1) calcaneal eversion, 2) first metatarsophalangeal joint range of motion, and 3) medial longitudinal arch height. Weightbearing measurements of these three attributes were made before and after application of a low-Dye strap, and statistical comparisons were made. The results of this study indicate that the low-Dye strap is effective in reducing calcaneal eversion, increasing first metatarsophalangeal joint range of motion, and increasing medial longitudinal arch height in the weightbearing state. Knowledge of the exact mechanisms of action of the low-Dye strap will provide practitioners with greater confidence in the use of this modality. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(2): 118-123, 2003)
High-Dye and low-Dye taping are commonly used by clinicians to treat a variety of foot and ankle pathologies, particularly those associated with excessive rearfoot pronation. While the effects of taping on end range of motion have been extensively studied, relatively little is understood about the effect of the two styles of taping on rearfoot motion. Eighteen participants were analyzed in three conditions: 1) barefoot, 2) with high-Dye taping, and 3) with low-Dye taping. Two-dimensional motion of the rearfoot was assessed for each condition. The results indicated maximum inversion was increased with both high-Dye and low-Dye taping as compared with no taping. Only high-Dye taping, however, significantly reduced the maximum eversion of the rearfoot. The results suggest that high-Dye taping is an appropriate taping choice when control of eversion of the rearfoot is desired. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(5): 255-261, 2001)
Plantar vein thrombosis (PVT) is an atypical cause of plantar heel pain and is seldom reported in the literature. We present a unique, rare case report of a patient exhibiting plantar heel and medial arch pain caused by thrombosis in the plantar medial branch of the posterior tibial vein. The diagnosis was made by means of magnetic resonance imaging, showing lobulated hypointensity in the medial plantar vein, consistent with a PVT. In this article, we provide an overview of the clinical signs of PVT, which is most commonly plantar heel pain. Furthermore, we discuss ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging as diagnostic modalities, and conservative treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications, anticoagulation therapy, and compression therapy. As with other types of venous thromboembolism, this condition must also be diagnosed without delay to avoid potential complications.
Foreign bodies can be difficult to diagnose and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unexplained pain, even in the absence of recalled trauma. We present the case of a 22-year-old male with a painful left heel. The patient did not recall a specific traumatic incident, and there were no clinical signs of trauma or infection. Plain films of the foot were nonrevealing, but magnetic resonance imaging revealed a sinus tract and left calcaneal defect. A biopsy of the calcaneal defect revealed viable woody material embedded and partially integrated with the surrounding bone. Postoperatively the patient's pain completely resolved. This case illustrates the importance of radiopathologic pursuit of an etiology of unexplained foot pain in an otherwise healthy person.
Background: Foot orthoses are commonly dispensed for musculoskeletal complaints of the foot and lower limb. Few randomized clinical trials evaluate the clinical effectiveness of foot orthoses.
Methods: In this randomized clinical trial with a crossover design, 42 participants wore custom orthoses and prefabricated inserts in their regular footwear for 4 weeks each, consecutively. Twenty-seven participants received prefabricated inserts first and 13 received custom orthoses first. A numeric pain rating scale (possible score, 0–10) was used to measure participant pain.
Results: Statistically and clinically important decreases in pain were reported after 3 weeks by participants wearing custom orthoses first (−1.39 pain units, t12 = 2.70, P = .02). Participants who wore prefabricated inserts first reported no statistically significant change in pain. When the alternative intervention was introduced, participants now wearing prefabricated inserts had greater pain after 1 and 2 weeks (1.1 pain units, t12 = 3.09, P = .01 and 0.9 pain units, t12 = 2.65, P = .02, respectively). Participants now wearing custom orthoses did not demonstrate significantly lower pain at any week compared with the second baseline but did have significantly lower pain scores compared with their initial baseline scores (−0.81 pain units, t12 = 2.31, P = .03).
Conclusion: Full-contact custom-made foot orthoses provide symptomatic relief after 3 weeks of use for patients with lower-extremity musculoskeletal pain if they are prescribed as the initial treatment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(5): 357–363, 2008)
Phlegmons are unencapsulated collections of inflammation that track along soft tissues in various parts of the human body. These soft-tissue lesions are uncommon in the lower extremities and can be difficult to identify and treat. This article presents a case of a plantar foot phlegmon in a nondiabetic patient that was recalcitrant to debridement and antibiotics. The patient’s aseptic phlegmon completely resolved with surgical debridement and iodoform packing. This case report demonstrates the role of advanced imaging in the diagnosis of lower-extremity phlegmons and the importance of thorough surgical debridement and packing for successful resolution.
Background: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic tendon pathology in the elbow, shoulder, and plantar fascia. This prospective study examines the efficacy of extracorporeal shockwave therapy in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendon disorders.
Methods: Twenty-three patients (23 feet) were treated with extracorporeal shockwave therapy for Achilles tendinosis, insertional tendonitis, or both. Indications for treatment were a minimum of 6 months of conservative care, and a visual analog pain score > 5. The mean follow-up was 20 months (range, 4–35 months).
Results: Ninety-one percent (14 patients) were satisfied or very satisfied (23 patients) with treatment. Eighty-seven percent (20 patients) stated that extracorporeal shockwave therapy improved their condition, 13% (3 patients) said it did not affect the condition, and none stated that it made them worse. Eighty-seven percent (20 patients) stated they would have the procedure again if given the choice. Four months after extracorporeal shockwave therapy, the mean visual analog score for morning pain decreased from 7.0 to 2.3, and activity pain decreased from 8.1 to 3.1.
Conclusion: High-power extracorporeal shockwave therapy is safe, noninvasive, and effective, and it has a role in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(6): 466–468, 2008)
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between foot deformities by comparing foot radiographs of patients with complaints of foot pain with those of healthy individuals.
The study included 30 patients with pes cavus, 30 patients with pes planus, 30 patients with calcaneal spur, and 30 controls aged 30 to 60 years. All participants underwent measurement of right and left foot length; metatarsophalangeal width; and calcaneal pitch (CA), talohorizontal (TA), talometatarsal (TM), and lateral talocalcaneal (LTC) angles from lateral radiographs.
There were no statistically significant differences between all participants regarding sex, age, weight, and body mass index (P > .05). Among patients with clinically diagnosed pes cavus, the diagnostic rate of CA was 100% in both feet, and 83.3% in the right foot and 96.7% in the left foot according to the TM angle. The diagnostic rates of angular measurements in patients with pes planus were as follows: 20% in the right foot and 30% in the left foot depending on the CA angle, 100% in both feet depending on the TM angle, and 66.7% in the right foot and 46.7% in the left foot depending on the LTC angle. A very strong positive correlation was found between the CA and LTC angles in patients with calcaneal spur and pes planus (P < .001); also, statistically significant positive correlation was found between the CA and TA angles (P < .05). The angular measurements in patients with calcaneal spur were found to be consistent with pes planus with a high rate.
Angular changes caused by deterioration of foot biomechanics lead to various deformities. Pes planus ranks first among these. Therefore, we believe that radiographic angular measurements in patients presenting with foot pain in addition to clinical evaluation would be useful in considering associated deformities and planning treatments.