Podiatric medicine had its own evolution in the medical field apart from allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Podiatrists are well-respected members of the health-care team and have earned recognition as physicians within their education, training, and credentialing processes. Unlike allopathic medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine, whose scope of practice is based upon their education, training, and credentialing processes, podiatrists' scopes of practice are determined by state laws (and are often influenced by politics) with variances across the United States. In contrast to a lack of uniformity in the training and credentialing processes of an allopathic medical doctor, podiatrists complete a streamlined educational process that is competency-based and well-aligned from the undergraduate phase (podiatric medical school) to the postgraduate phase (residency) through the credentialing processes (licensure and certification). Podiatric medical students begin to directly engage in the specialty related to the diagnosis and treatment of the lower extremity much earlier in the educational process than an orthopedist, whose foot and ankle exposure is less extensive by comparison. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(1): 65–72, 2009)
Individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy frequently experience concomitant impaired proprioception and postural instability. Conventional exercise training has been demonstrated to be effective in improving balance but does not incorporate visual feedback targeting joint perception, which is an integral mechanism that helps compensate for impaired proprioception in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
This prospective cohort study recruited 29 participants (mean ± SD: age, 57 ± 10 years; body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared], 26.9 ± 3.1). Participants satisfying the inclusion criteria performed predefined ankle exercises through reaching tasks, with visual feedback from the ankle joint projected on a screen. Ankle motion in the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions was captured using wearable sensors attached to the participant’s shank. Improvements in postural stability were quantified by measuring center of mass sway area and the reciprocal compensatory index before and after training using validated body-worn sensor technology.
Findings revealed a significant reduction in center of mass sway after training (mean, 22%; P = .02). A higher postural stability deficit (high body sway) at baseline was associated with higher training gains in postural balance (reduction in center of mass sway) (r = −0.52, P < .05). In addition, significant improvement was observed in postural coordination between the ankle and hip joints (mean, 10.4%; P = .04).
The present research implemented a novel balance rehabilitation strategy based on virtual reality technology. The method included wearable sensors and an interactive user interface for real-time visual feedback based on ankle joint motion, similar to a video gaming environment, for compensating impaired joint proprioception. These findings support that visual feedback generated from the ankle joint coupled with motor learning may be effective in improving postural stability in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(6): 498–507, 2013)
Background: The proximal insertional disorder of the plantar fascia is plantar fasciosis. Although plantar fasciosis is frequently seen by different health-care providers, indistinctness of etiology and pathogenesis is still present. A variety of interventions are seen in clinical practice. Taping constructions are frequently used for the treatment of plantar fasciosis. However, a systematic review assessing the efficacy of this therapy modality is not available.
Methods: To assess the efficacy of a taping construction as an intervention or as part of an intervention in patients with plantar fasciosis on pain and disability, controlled trials were searched for in CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane CENTRAL, and PEDro using a specific search strategy. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale was used to judge methodological quality. Clinical relevance was assessed with five specific questions. A best-evidence synthesis consisting of five levels of evidence was applied for qualitative analysis.
Results: Five controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. Three trials with high methodological quality and of clinical relevance contributed to the best-evidence synthesis. The findings were strong evidence of pain improvement at 1-week follow-up, inconclusive results for change in level of disability in the short term, and indicative findings that the addition of taping on stretching exercises has a surplus value.
Conclusions: There is limited evidence that taping can reduce pain in the short term in patients with plantar fasciosis. The effect on disability is inconclusive. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(1): 41–51, 2010)
We assessed the efficacy of customized foot orthotic therapy by comparing reulceration rates, minor amputation rates, and work and daily living activities before and after therapy. Peak plantar pressures and peak plantar impulses were compared with the patients not wearing and wearing their prescribed footwear.
One hundred seventeen patients with diabetes were prescribed therapeutic insoles and footwear based on the results of a detailed biomechanical study and were followed for 2 years. All of the patients had a history of foot ulcers, but none had undergone previous orthotic therapy.
Before treatment, the reulceration rate was 79% and the amputation rate was 54%. Two years after the start of orthotic therapy, the reulceration rate was 15% and the amputation rate was 6%. Orthotic therapy reduced peak plantar pressures in patients with reulcerations and in those without (P < .05), although a significant decrease in peak plantar impulses was achieved only in patients not experiencing reulceration. Sick leave was reduced from 100% to 26%.
Personalized orthotic therapy targeted at reducing plantar pressures by off-loading protects high-risk patients against reulceration. Treatment reduced the reulceration rate and peak plantar pressures, leading to patients’ return to work or other activities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(4): 281-290, 2013)
The forefoot midsole stiffness of the shoe may affect the kinematics of the foot segments. We evaluated the effects of two different levels of forefoot midsole stiffness on the angular displacement of the forefoot and rearfoot in the three planes of motion during the stance phase of gait.
Thirty-six participants walked on a 10-m walkway at their self-selected speed wearing shoes having either low or high forefoot midsole stiffness. Three-dimensional kinematic data of the foot segments were obtained during the stance phase of gait using an eight-camera motion analysis system synchronized with a force platform. The dependent variables were forefoot and rearfoot total range of motion and maximum and minimum angle values in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes of motion.
Reduced forefoot midsole stiffness produced significantly greater forefoot total range of motion in the sagittal plane (1.59°). The low-stiffness condition also increased the magnitude of the forefoot dorsiflexion angles (4.14°). Furthermore, the low-stiffness condition increased the magnitude of the rearfoot inversion (1.21°) and adduction (11.38°) angles and reduced the rearfoot abduction angle (12.1°).
It is likely that reduced stiffness of the forefoot midsole stretched the plantar fascia, increasing rearfoot stability during the stance phase of gait. Increased muscular contraction may also explain increases in rearfoot stability. Therefore, the integrity of the plantar fascia and ankle muscles' force and resistance should be considered when choosing a shoe with reduced or increased forefoot midsole stiffness for walking.
Injuries of the first metatarsophalangeal joint have lately been receiving attention from researchers owing to the important functions of this joint. However, most of the studies of turf toe injuries have focused on sports played on artificial turf.
This study compared the range of motion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint in collegiate basketball players (n = 123) and noncompetitive individuals (n = 123).
A statistically significant difference (P < .001) in range of motion was found between the two groups. The difference between the two sample means was 21.35°.
With hallux rigidus being a potential sequela of repeated turf toe injuries, it seems likely that subacute turf toe injuries occur in basketball players, leading to degenerative changes that result in hallux limitus.
Pes cavus is a structural deformity in which the increased plantar arch can lead to greater metatarsal verticality with the consequent excess of pressure under the forefoot zone (especially the metatarsal zone), causing pain and significant loss of functional capacity. We sought to determine whether neuromuscular stretching with symmetrical rectangular biphasic currents can reduce the pressure supported by this zone.
This prospective, nonrandomized, longitudinal, analytical, and experimental controlled trial included 34 patients with pes cavus. Pedobarometric measurements were made using the footscan USB Gait Clinical System platform considering the toes and metatarsal heads, forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot before and after performing stretching using a Med Tens 931 electrotherapy device. The measurements were repeated 7 days after the application.
With the Student t test for paired samples, we showed that there was a significant decline in metatarsal pressure (P < .001) in the zones of the first (P = .045) and third (P = .01) metatarsals and that this reduction was maintained 1 week after the plantar stretching.
Plantar stretching with symmetrical rectangular biphasic currents is effective for the prevention and treatment of pes cavus metatarsalgia caused by excessive pressure. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(3): 191–196, 2013)
We present a rare case of calcaneal chondroblastoma with subsequent surgical revision after graft rejection in a 13-year-old boy. Complications were encountered after the injectable bone graft filler was placed in the calcaneus after curettage. With noted subsequent sinus tract formation, revision surgery was performed that involved dissection of the sinus tract, removal of bone void filler, and application of demineralized bone matrix sponge human allograft soaked in vancomycin-impregnated saline. Sixteen weeks after the revision surgical intervention, the patient resumed normal athletic activities without pain or restrictions. One and a half years after the initial surgery, the patient had complete resolution of the calcaneal cyst and was discharged.
Excessive body weight seems to be a risk factor for foot loading. We sought to investigate the effect of different body mass index (BMI) levels on plantar pressure distribution during walking.
In total, 163 women aged 45 to 65 years (mean ± SD: age, 57.4 ± 5.3 years; BMI, 27.0 ± 5.3) participated in the study. The women were divided, on the basis of BMI, into a normal-weight, overweight, or obese group. The study used the four following plantar pressure parameters (PPPs): contact percentage, absolute pressure impulse, relative pressure impulse, and absolute peak pressure, which were recorded in ten foot regions using a pressure measurement system.
The normal-weight group, compared with the overweight and obese groups, had significantly lower absolute PPP values. In the hallux, second through fifth metatarsals, midfoot, and heel regions, we observed significant between-group differences in the two absolute PPPs (peak pressure and pressure impulse) (P < .001). Between-group differences in the relative PPPs were found in the fourth metatarsal, midfoot, and medial heel (relative impulse) and in the second metatarsal (contact percentage) (P < .001).
Higher BMI values correspond to a higher load on the foot during walking in women. The relative foot load in obese women is characterized by a pressure increase in the lateral forefoot and midfoot and by a pressure decrease in the medial heel.
Abnormal foot posture and deformities are identified as important features in rheumatoid arthritis. There is still no consensus regarding the optimum technique(s) for quantifying these features; hence, a foot digitizer might be used as an objective measurement tool. We sought to assess the validity and reliability of the INFOOT digitizer.
To investigate the validity of the INFOOT digitizer compared with clinical measurements, we calculated Pearson correlation coefficients. To investigate the reliability of the INFOOT digitizer, we calculated intraclass correlation coefficients, SEMs, smallest detectable differences, and smallest detectable difference percentages.
Most of the 38 parameters showed good intraclass correlation coefficients, with values greater than 0.9 for 30 parameters and greater than 0.8 for seven parameters. The left heel bone angle expressed a moderate correlation, with a value of 0.609. The SEM values varied between 0.31 and 3.51 mm for the length and width measures, between 0.74 and 5.58 mm for the height data, between 0.75 and 5.9 mm for the circumferences, and between 0.78° and 2.98° for the angles. The smallest detectable difference values ranged from 0.86 to 16.36 mm for length, width, height, and circumference measures and from 2.17° to 8.26° for the angle measures. For the validity of the INFOOT three-dimensional foot digitizer, Pearson correlation coefficients varied between 0.750 and 0.997.
In this rheumatoid arthritis population, good validity was demonstrated compared with clinical measurements, and most of the obtained parameters proved to be reliable. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 198–207, 2011)