Background: Lesser toe surgery is among the most conducted interventions in general orthopedic practice. However, the definitions of hammer toe and claw toe are not uniform. The objective of this literature study is to propose clear definitions for these deformities to establish unambiguous communication.
Methods: A literature search was performed in the PubMed database (May 2006). Of 81 eligible articles, 42 that stated a clear definition of hammer toe or claw toe were selected.
Results: In all 35 articles in which hammer toe was clearly defined, flexion in the proximal interphalangeal joint was part of the definition. Seventeen articles (49%) defined hammer toe as a combination of metatarsophalangeal extension and proximal interphalangeal flexion. Thirteen articles showed flexion of the proximal interphalangeal joint as the single criterion. Twenty-three articles with a clear definition of claw toe were selected. Twenty-one articles (91%) showed metatarsophalangeal extension as part of the claw toe deformity. Twelve articles (52%) regarded metatarsophalangeal extension and flexion of the proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints as the essential characteristics. Seven articles described a claw toe as metatarsophalangeal extension with flexion in the proximal interphalangeal joint.
Conclusions: There are variations in the definitions of lesser toe deformities in the literature. We propose that extension of the metatarsophalangeal joint is the discriminating factor and essential characteristic for claw toe. Claw toe and hammer toe should be characterized by flexion in the proximal interphalangeal joint, which is the single criterion for a hammer toe. The flexibility of these joints could be a basic factor in discriminating between these deformities. The development of these deformities should be regarded as a continuum in the same pathophysiologic process. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3): 194–197, 2009)
Measurement of the medial longitudinal foot arch in children is a controversial topic, as there are many different methods without a definite standard procedure. The purpose of this study was to 1) investigate intraday and interrater reliability regarding dynamic arch index and static arch height, 2) explore the correlation between both arch indices, and 3) examine the variation of the medial longitudinal arch at two different times of the day.
Eighty-six children (mean ± SD age, 8.9 ± 1.9 years) participated in the study. Dynamic footprint data were captured with a pedobarographic platform. For static arch measurements, a specially constructed caliper was used to assess heel-to-toe length and dorsum height. A mixed model was established to determine reliability and variation.
Reliability was found to be excellent for the static arch height index in sitting (intraday, 0.90; interrater, 0.80) and standing positions (0.88 and 0.85) and for the dynamic arch index (both 1.00). There was poor correlation between static and dynamic assessment of the medial longitudinal arch (standing dynamic arch index, r = –0.138; sitting dynamic arch index, r = –0.070). Static measurements were found to be significantly influenced by the time of day (P < .001), whereas the dynamic arch index was unchanged (P = .845). This study revealed some further important findings. The static arch height index is influenced by gender (P = .004), whereas dynamic arch index is influenced by side (P = .011) and body mass index (P < .001).
Dynamic and static foot measurements are reliable for medial longitudinal foot arch assessment in children. The variation of static arch measurements during the day has to be kept in mind. For clinical purposes, static and dynamic arch data should be interpreted separately.
Medial longitudinal arch integrity after prolonged running has yet to be well documented. We sought to quantify changes in medial longitudinal arch kinematics before and after a 45-min run in healthy recreational runners.
Thirty runners performed barefoot seated, standing, and running trials before and after a 45-min shod treadmill run. Navicular displacement, arch lengthening, and the arch height index were used to quantify arch deformation, and the arch rigidity index was used to quantify arch stiffness.
There were no statistically significant differences in mean (95% confidence interval) values for navicular displacement (5.6 mm [4.7–6.4 mm]), arch lengthening (3.2 mm [2.6–3.9 mm]), change in arch height index (0.015 [0.012–0.018]), or arch rigidity index (0.95 [0.94–0.96]) after the 45-min run (all multivariate analyses of variance P ≥ .065).
Because there were no statistically significant changes in arch deformation or rigidity, the structures of a healthy, intact medial longitudinal arch are capable of either adapting to cyclical loading or withstanding a 45-min run without compromise.
Although the literature is replete with recommendations for people with diabetes—particularly those with neuropathy, ischemia, or both—to avoid caring for corns and calluses on their own feet, there are virtually no reports of damage associated with this care. The purpose of this article is to report on the potential perils of personal pedicures in the presence of peripheral neuropathy by using a case-based example. In this article, we report on the inappropriate use of a Ped Egg personal pedicure device that led to limb-threatening lesions in a gentleman with diabetic peripheral sensory neuropathy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(5): 448–450, 2013)
Background: We evaluated foot pressure distribution during walking in individuals with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
Methods: Our study included 24 ACL-deficient patients and 22 healthy young adults as controls. The former group was divided into the dominant-side ACL-deficient group (n = 17) and the nondominant-side ACL-deficient group (n = 7). The following parameters were calculated from the path of the center of pressure (COP) on a foot pressure distribution system: percentage of COP (%COP; the ratio of anteroposterior COP path length to foot length), percentage of COP locus area (%CLA; the ratio of the area encompassed by the COP path and a line between the start and end points of the COP path to foot area), and the value of maximum amplitude of COP (MACOP; the maximum perpendicular length from the COP path to a line between the start and end points of the COP).
Results: In the nondominant-side ACL-deficient group, %COP (P = .026), %CLA (P = .001), and MACOP (P =.012) on the injured side were significantly lower than those in the nondominant leg side of the control group. No significant differences were found between the dominant-side ACL-deficient group and the control group.
Conclusions: Shortening of the COP trace in the nondominant-side ACL-deficient group may be associated with knee flexion during walking at heel contact. Because the parameters used herein can be obtained easily, repetitively, and quantitatively, they should be used in evaluating the gait of patients with ACL-deficient knees.
Background: Flip-flops are becoming a common footwear option. Casual observation has indicated that individuals wear flip-flops beyond their structural limit and have a different gait while wearing flip-flops versus shoes. This alteration in gait may cause the anecdotal foot and lower-limb discomfort associated with wearing flip-flops.
Methods: To investigate the effect of sneakers versus thong-style flip-flops on gait kinematics and kinetics, 56 individuals (37 women and 19 men) were randomly assigned to a footwear order (flip-flops or sneakers first) and were asked to wear the assigned footwear on the day before and the day of testing. On each testing day, participants were videotaped as they walked at a self-selected pace across a force platform. A 2 (sex) × 2 (footwear) repeated-measures analysis of variance (P = .05) was used for statistical analysis.
Results: Significant interaction effects of footwear and sex were found for maximal anterior force, attack angle, and ankle angle during the swing phase. Footwear significantly affected stride length, ankle angle at the beginning of double support and during the swing phase, maximal braking impulse, and stance time. Flip-flops resulted in a shorter stride, a larger ankle angle at the beginning of double support and during the swing phase, a smaller braking impulse, and a shorter stance time compared with sneakers.
Conclusions: The effects of footwear on gait kinetics and kinematics is extensive, but there is limited research on the effect of thong-style flip-flops on gait. These results suggest that flip-flops have an effect on several kinetic and kinematic variables compared with sneakers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 251–257, 2010)
Equinus Deformity as a Factor in Forefoot Nerve Entrapment
Treatment with Endoscopic Gastrocnemius Recession
Forefoot nerve entrapments are common, and they are usually mistakenly categorized under the misnomer of “Morton’s neuroma.” Although the complete etiology of these forefoot entrapments is still not known, exogenous mechanical factors must be considered when patients present with clinical signs of forefoot nerve entrapment. It has been well established that equinus deformity can increase plantar forefoot pressures. This article provides a brief overview of equinus deformity as it relates to forefoot pathology, specifically, its mechanical contribution to forefoot nerve entrapment, and the use of endoscopic gastrocnemius recession for the treatment of forefoot nerve entrapment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 464–468, 2005)
Background: The path of the center of pressure during walking varies among individuals by deviating to a greater or lesser extent toward the medial or lateral border of the foot. It is unclear whether this variance is systematic and is affected by foot posture. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between foot morphology and center-of-pressure excursion during barefoot walking.
Methods: Pressure data were collected from 83 participants whose foot type had been classified as supinated, normal, or pronated according to the Foot Posture Index. Three center-of-pressure variables were analyzed: medial excursion area, lateral excursion area, and total excursion area.
Results: Across the spectrum of foot types, we found that the more supinated a participant’s foot posture, the larger the area of lateral center-of-pressure excursion, and, conversely, the more pronated the foot posture, the smaller the area of lateral center-of-pressure excursion. Furthermore, the supinated foot type had a relatively larger center-of-pressure total excursion area, and the pronated foot type had a relatively smaller center-of-pressure total excursion area.
Conclusions: These results indicate the importance of assessing foot posture when measuring center of pressure and may help explain regional differences in pain and injury location among foot types. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(2): 112–117, 2008)
Foot Biomechanics in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus
Doubts Regarding the Relationship Between Neuropathy, Foot Motion, and Deformities
We sought to identify the biomechanical characteristics of the feet of patients with diabetes mellitus and the interrelationship with diabetic neuropathy by determining the range of joint mobility and the presence and locations of calluses and foot deformities.
This observational comparative study involved 281 patients with diabetes mellitus who underwent neurologic and vascular examinations. Joint mobility studies were performed, and deformities and hyperkeratosis locations were assessed.
No substantial differences were found between patients with and without neuropathy in joint mobility range. Neuropathy was seen as a risk factor only in the passive range of motion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (mean ± SD: 57.2° ± 19.5° versus 50.3° ± 22.5°, P = .008). Mean ± SD ankle joint mobility values were similar in both groups (83.0° ± 5.2° versus 82.8° ± 9.3°, P = .826). Patients without neuropathy had a higher rate of foot deformities such as hallux abductus valgus and hammer toes. There was also a higher presence of calluses in patients without neuropathy (82.8% versus 72.6%; P = .039).
Diabetic neuropathy was not related to limited joint mobility and the presence of calluses. Patients with neuropathy did not show a higher risk of any of the deformities examined. These findings suggest that the etiology of biomechanical alterations in diabetic people is complex and may involve several anatomically and pathologically predisposing factors. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 208–214, 2011)