Orthotic management is helpful in the treatment of most orthopedic conditions involving the rearfoot, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon disorders, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, flatfoot, ankle sprains, and problems associated with diabetes, arthritis, and equinus disorders. A review of the effectiveness of orthoses in the treatment of these conditions is presented here. An in-depth analysis of the orthotic management of plantar fasciitis and a critical review of foot orthoses for the pronated foot are presented. Also discussed are the rationale and effectiveness of the tension night splint in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, orthotic devices for the different stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and the various categories of orthoses for off-loading the diabetic foot. The modern ankle brace, the effectiveness of prefabricated versus prescription foot orthoses, and recent developments in the ankle-foot orthosis are also reviewed.
Background: Ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion is essential to normal gait. Ankle equinus has been implicated in a number of foot and ankle pathologies included Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, ankle injury, forefoot pain, and foot ulceration. Reliable measurement of ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion, both clinically and in a research setting, is important.
Methods: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the intertester reliability of an innovative device for measuring ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion. A total of 31 (n = 31) participants volunteered to take part in this study. A paired t-test was performed to assess for systematic differences between the mean measures of each rater. Intertester reliability was evaluated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and their 95% confidence intervals.
Results: A paired t-test demonstrated that the mean ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion did not significantly differ between raters. The ankle joint ROM mean for rater 1 was 4.65 SD (3.71) and rater 2 was 4.67 SD (3.91). Intertester reliability for the use of the Dorsi-Meter was excellent and demonstrated a very narrow range of error. The ICC (95%CI) was 0.991 (0.980 to 0.995) the SEM (in degrees) was 0.07, the MDC95, in degrees was 0.19 and 95% LOA, degrees was –1.49 to 1.46.
Conclusions: We found the intertester reliability of the Dorsi-Meter to demonstrate higher levels of intertester reliability compared to previous studies investigating other devices. We reported the MDC values to provide an estimate of the smallest amount of change in the ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion that must be achieved to reflect a true change, outside the error of the test. The Dorsi-Meter has been established as an appropriate reliable device to measure ankle joint dorsiflexion for clinicians and researchers with very small minimal detectable change and limits of agreement.
The efficacy of the transverse plantar incisional approach for the treatment of recalcitrant heel spur syndrome or plantar fasciitis was investigated by evaluating cases of this procedure performed by the authors from 1991 to 1998. Patient records were reviewed for conservative treatment rendered prior to surgical intervention as well as for the perioperative course of the patient. All patients were asked to complete questionnaires regarding their heel spur syndrome or plantar fasciitis and their opinion of both the conservative and the surgical treatments received.
The authors present a case of atypical heel pain masquerading as plantar fasciitis. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism-induced stress fracture of the calcaneus. The clinical entity of hyperparathyroidism and its manifestations in the skeletal system are presented, as well as a review of stress fractures and pertinent imaging studies.
The deep fascia of the foot lies beneath the subcutaneous tissue and surrounds the intrinsic foot muscles. Depending on its location, the composition of the deep fascia varies. In some areas it is thin, while in other areas it is greatly thickened to form retinacula and the plantar aponeurosis. Selected clinical considerations that relate to the deep fascia of the foot are described. These include the following: plantar fasciitis, infection, compartment syndrome, calcaneal fracture, and neuroma.
Background: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) was first introduced into clinical practice in 1982 and has been a beneficial inclusion to the non-invasive treatment option of numerous orthopaedic pathologies. However, clinical evidence of the use of ESWT for various foot and ankle disorders has been limited with a consensus on its efficacy yet available. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to systematically review the literature, to provide a critical evaluation and meta-analysis for the use of ESWT in foot and ankle disorders.
Methods: The PubMed and Embase databases were systematically reviewed and clinical studies that reported ESWT use for various foot and ankle disorders included.
Results: A total of 24 clinical studies that included 12 randomized controlled trials and 12 case series were identified. Analysis of the evidence has indicated that ESWT can help manage plantar fasciitis, calcaneal spur, Achilles tendinopathy and Morton’s neuroma. Meta-analysis of the change in pre-to post-VAS overall scores for plantar fasciitis significantly favored ESWT compared to placebo/conservative treatment with a MD-3.10(95%Cl, -4.36 to -1.83; l2=68%; P<0.00001).
Conclusions: The current evidence has suggested that ESWT can provide symptomatic benefit to plantar fasciitis treatment, with minimal and unremarkable side effects. Overall, ESWT has been demonstrated to be safe treatment option with a favorable complication profile. Further well-designed studies of ESWT for the treatment of calcaneal spurs, Achilles tendinopathy and Morton’s neuroma are warranted to more soundly and safely support its current use. Future studies are suggested to investigate the optimization of ESWT treatment protocols.
This article presents a mechanical model that can be used to understand the foot, to help develop methods of treatment of foot pathology, and to provide direction for future research in foot mechanics and pathology. The anatomy and mechanical function of the windlass mechanism of the foot are analyzed using principles of mechanical engineering. The principles of force couples and free-body diagrams are explained and then applied to the foot. The relationship of the windlass mechanism to plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome, hallux abducto valgus, and hallux limitus is discussed.
The purpose of this study was to determine the type and frequency of lower extremity running injuries incurred by athletes participating in the New York City Marathon. A survey was conducted of 265 athletes presenting to medical stations for podiatric care during the 1994 New York City Marathon. The results of the survey indicated that the most common injuries occurring in marathon runners were corns, calluses, blisters, muscle cramps, acute knee and ankle injuries, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsalgia. An inverse relationship was observed between the number of miles trained per week and the number of injuries. These findings are consistent with long-term studies of running injuries.
BACKGROUND: Normative studies on the Arch Height Index (AHI), Arch Rigidity Index (ARI), and arch stiffness have primarily focused on healthy populations, with little consideration of pathology. The purpose of this study was to create a normative sample of the aforementioned measurements in a pathological sample and to identify relationships between arch structure measurements and pathology. METHODS: AHI was obtained bilaterally at 10% and 90% weightbearing conditions using the Arch Height Index Measurement System (AHIMS). ARI and arch stiffness were calculated using AHI measurements. Dependent t-tests compared right and left, dominant and non-dominant, and injured and non-injured limbs. Measurements of the dominant foot were compared between sexes using independent t-tests. Relationships between arch stiffness and age, sex, and AHI were examined using the coefficient of determination (R2). One-way ANOVAs were used to determine differences between arch structure measurements and number of pathologies or BMI. RESULTS: A total of 110 participants reported either one (n=55), two (n=38), or three or more (n=17) pathologies. Plantar fasciitis (n=31) and hallux valgus (n=28) were the most commonly reported primary concerns. AHI, ARI, and arch stiffness did not differ between limbs for any comparisons, nor between sexes. Between subgroups of BMI and number of pathologies, no differences exist in AHI or ARI; however, BMI was found to have an impact on AHI (10%WB) and arch stiffness (p<.05). Arch stiffness showed a weak relationship to AHI, where a higher AHI was associated with a stiffer arch (R2=0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Normative AHI, ARI and arch stiffness values were established in a pathological sample with a large incidence of plantar fasciitis and hallux valgus. Findings suggest relationships between arch stiffness and both BMI and arch height; however, few trends were noted in AHI and ARI. Determining relationships between arch structure and pathology is helpful for both clinicians and researchers.
Although the appearance of foot or lower-limb pathologies is etiologically multifactorial, foot postures in pronation or supination have been related to certain diseases such as patellofemoral syndrome and plantar fasciitis. The objective of the present study was to determine the normal values of foot posture in a healthy young adult Spanish sample, and to identify individuals at risk of developing some foot pathology.
The Foot Posture Index (FPI) was determined in a sample of 635 (304 men, 331 women) healthy young adults (ages 18–30 years). The FPI raw score was transformed into a logit score, and a new classification was obtained with the mean ± 2 SD to identify the 5% of the sample with potentially pathologic feet.
The normal range of the FPI was −1 to +6, and FPI values from +10 to +12 and −6 to −12 could be classified as indicating potentially pathologic feet. The women's logit FPI (0.50 ± 1.4, raw FPI +3) was higher than the men's (0.25 ± 1.6, raw FPI +2), with the difference being significant (P = 0.038). No statistically significant differences were found between body mass index groups (P = 0.141).
The normal FPI range goes from just one point of supination to a certain degree of pronation (+6). The identification of 35 individuals with potentially pathologic feet may help in the implementation of a preventive plan to avoid the appearance of foot disorders.