Metatarsal pads are frequently prescribed for patients with metatarsalgia to reduce pain under the distal metatarsal heads. Several studies showed reduced pain and reduced plantar pressure just distal to the metatarsal pad. However, only part of the pain reduction could be explained by the decrease in plantar pressure under the forefoot. Therefore, an alternative hypothesis is proposed that pain relief is related to a widening of the foot and the creation of extra space between the metatarsal heads. This study focused on the effect of a metatarsal pad on the geometry of the forefoot by studying forefoot width and the height of the second metatarsal head.
Using a motion analysis system, 16 primary metatarsalgia feet and 12 control feet were measured when walking with and without a metatarsal pad.
A significant mean increase of 0.60 mm in forefoot width during the stance phase was found when a metatarsal pad was worn. During midstance, the mean increase in forefoot width was 0.74 mm. In addition, walking with a metatarsal pad revealed an increase in the height of the second metatarsal head (mean, 0.62 mm). No differences were found between patients and controls.
The combination of increased forefoot width and the height of the second metatarsal head produced by the metatarsal pad results in an increase in space between the metatarsal heads. This extra space could play a role in pain reduction produced by a metatarsal pad. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(1): 18–24, 2012)
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic, progressive joint inflammation; it commonly affects the joints of the feet. Biomechanical alterations and daily pain in the foot are the common outcomes of the disease. Earlier studies focusing on plantar pressure in such patients reported increased vertical loading along with peak pressure-pain associations. However, footwear designed according to the pressure profiles did not relieve symptoms effectively. We examined plantar shear and pressure distribution in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared the findings with those of controls, and we investigated a potential relationship between foot pain and local shear stresses.
Methods: A custom-built platform was used to collect plantar pressure and shear stress data from nine patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 14 control participants. Seven patients reported the presence of pain under their feet. Pressure-time and shear-time integral values were also calculated.
Results: Peak pressure, pressure-time integral, resultant shear-time integral, and mediolateral shear stress magnitudes were higher in the complication group (P < .05). An association between peak shear-time integral and maximum pain locations was observed.
Conclusions: Increased mediolateral shear stresses under the rheumatoid foot might be attributable to gait instability in such patients. A correlation between the locations of maximum shear-time integral and pain indicate the clinical significance of plantar shear in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 265–269, 2010)
The effects of hallux limitus on plantar foot pressure and foot kinematics have received limited attention in the literature. Therefore, a study was conducted to assess the effects of limited first metatarsophalangeal joint mobility on plantar foot pressure. It was equally important to identify detection criteria based on plantar pressures and metatarsophalangeal joint kinematics, enabling differentiation between subjects affected by hallux limitus and people with normal hallux function. To further our understanding of the relation between midtarsal collapse and hallux limitus, kinematic variables relating to midtarsal pronation were also included in the study. Two populations of 19 subjects each, one with hallux limitus and the other free of functional abnormalities, were asked to walk at their preferred speed while plantar foot pressures were recorded along with three-dimensional foot kinematics. The presence of hallux limitus, structural or functional, caused peak plantar pressure under the hallux to build up significantly more and at a faster rate than under the first metatarsal head. Additional discriminators for hallux limitus were peak dorsiflexion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint, time to this peak value, peak pressure ratios of the first metatarsal head and the more lateral metatarsal heads, and time to maximal pressure under the fourth and fifth metatarsal heads. Finally, in approximately 20% of the subjects, with and without hallux limitus, midtarsal pronation occurred after heel lift, validating the claim that retrograde midtarsal pronation does occur. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(5): 428–436, 2006)
Foot Kinetic and Kinematic Profile in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with Peripheral Neuropathy
A Hospital-Based Study from South India
A kinetic change in the foot such as altered plantar pressure is the most common etiological risk factor for foot ulcers in people with diabetes mellitus. Kinematic alterations in joint angle and spatiotemporal parameters of gait have also been frequently observed in participants with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Diabetic peripheral neuropathy leads to various microvascular and macrovascular complications of the foot in type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is a gap in the literature for biomechanical evaluation and assessment of type 2 diabetes mellitus with DPN in the Indian population. We sought to assess and determine the biomechanical changes, including kinetics and kinematics, of the foot in DPN.
This cross-sectional study was conducted at a diabetic foot clinic in India. Using the purposive sampling method, 120 participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus and DPN were recruited. Participants with active ulceration or amputation were excluded.
The mean ± SD age, height, weight, body mass index, and diabetes duration were 57 ± 14 years, 164 ± 11 cm, 61 ± 18 kg, 24 ± 3 kg/m2, and 12 ± 7 years, respectively. There were significant changes in the overall biomechanical profile and clinical manifestations of DPN. The regression analysis showed statistical significance for dynamic maximum plantar pressure at the forefoot with age, weight, height, diabetes duration, body mass index, knee and ankle joint angle at toe-off, pinprick sensation, and ankle reflex (R = 0.71, R2 = 0.55, F 12,108 = 521.9 kPa; P = .002).
People with type 2 diabetes mellitus and DPN have significant changes in their foot kinetic and kinematic parameters. Therefore, they could be at higher risk for foot ulceration, with underlying neuropathy and biomechanically associated problems.
Patients with a cavus or high-arched foot frequently experience foot pain, which can lead to significant limitation in function. Custom foot orthoses are widely prescribed to treat cavus foot pain. However, no clear guidelines for their construction exist, and there is limited evidence of their efficacy. In a randomized, single-blind, sham-controlled trial, the effect of custom foot orthoses on foot pain, function, quality of life, and plantar pressure loading in people with a cavus foot type was investigated. One hundred fifty-four participants with chronic musculoskeletal foot pain and bilateral cavus feet were randomly assigned to a treatment group receiving custom foot orthoses (n = 75) or to a control group receiving simple sham insoles (n = 79). At 3 months, 99% of the participants provided follow-up data using the Foot Health Status Questionnaire. Foot pain scores improved more with custom foot orthoses than with the control (difference, 8.3 points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 15.3 points; P = .022). Function scores also improved more with custom foot orthoses than with the control (difference, 9.5 points; 95% CI, 2.9 to 16.1 points; P = .005). Quality-of-life data favored custom foot orthoses, although differences reached statistical significance only for physical functioning (difference, 7.0 points; 95% CI, 1.9 to 12.1 points; P = .008). Plantar pressure improved considerably more with custom foot orthoses than with the control for all regions of the foot (difference, −3.0 N · s/cm2; 95% CI, −3.7 to −2.4 N · s/cm2; P < .001). In conclusion, custom foot orthoses are more effective than a control for the treatment of cavus foot pain and its associated limitation in function. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(3): 205–211, 2006)
There is little knowledge of the functional performance of patients with talocalcaneal coalition because of the marginal quantitative information accessible using current motion-analysis and plantar pressure–measurement techniques. A novel system was developed for comprehensively measuring foot–floor interaction during the stance phase of gait that integrates instrumentation for simultaneously measuring bony segment position, ground reaction force, and plantar pressure with synchronization of spatial and temporal variables. An advanced anatomically based analysis of foot joint rotations was also applied. Tracking of numerous anatomical landmarks allowed accurate selection of three footprint subareas and reliable estimation of relevant local forces and moments. Eight patients (11 feet) with talocalcaneal coalition were analyzed. Major impairment of the rearfoot was found in nonsurgical patients, with an everted attitude, limited plantarflexion, and overloading in all three components of ground reaction force. Surgical patients showed more normal loading patterns in each footprint subarea. This measuring system allowed for accurate inspection of the effects of surgical treatment in the entire foot and at several footprint subareas. Surgical treatment of talocalcaneal coalition seems to be effective in restoring more physiologic subtalar and forefoot motion and loading patterns. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(2): 107–115, 2006)
Background: Clinical studies have shown that posterior malleolar fractures treated with a posterior buttress plate have improved outcomes compared to anterior-to-posterior screw fixation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of posterior malleolus fixation on clinical and functional results.
Methods: The patients with posterior malleolar fractures who were treated between January of 2014 and April of 2018 at our hospital were investigated retrospectively. Fifty-five patients included in the study were divided into three groups according to the fixation preferences of fractures (group I, posterior buttress plate; group II, anterior-to-posterior screw; and group III, nonfixated). The groups consisted of 20, nine, and 26 patients, respectively. These patients were analyzed according to demographic data, fixation preferences of fractures, mechanism of injury, hospitalization length of stay, surgical time, syndesmosis screw use, follow-up time, complications, Haraguchi fracture classification, van Dijk classification, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score, and plantar pressure analysis.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of gender, operation side, injury mechanism, length of stay, anesthesia types, and syndesmotic screw usage. However, when the age, follow-up time, operation time, complications, Haraguchi classification, van Dijk classification, and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society scores were evaluated, statistically significant differences were observed between the groups. Plantar pressure analysis data showed that group I yielded balanced pressure distribution between both feet compared to the other study groups.
Conclusions: The posterior buttress plating of posterior malleolar fractures yielded better clinical and functional outcomes compared to the anterior-to-posterior screw fixation and nonfixated groups.
Low-Dye taping is commonly used to manage foot pathologies and pain. Precut one-piece QUICK TAPE was designed to facilitate taping. However, no study to date has demonstrated that QUICK TAPE offers similar support and off-loading as traditional taping.
This pilot study compared the performance of QUICK TAPE and low-Dye taping in 20 healthy participants (40 feet) with moderate-to-severe pes planus. Study participants completed arch height index (AHI), dynamic plantar assessment with a plantar pressure measurement system, and subjective rating in three conditions: barefoot, low-Dye, and QUICK TAPE. The order of test conditions was randomized for each participant, and the taping was applied to both feet based on a standard method. A generalized estimating equation with an identity link function was used to examine differences across test conditions while accounting for potential dependence in bilateral data.
Participants stood with a significantly greater AHI (P = .007) when either taping was applied compared with barefoot. Participants also demonstrated significantly different plantar loading when walking with both tapings versus barefoot. Both tapings yielded reduced force-time integral (FTI) in the medial and lateral forefoot and increased FTI under toes. Unlike previous studies, however, no lateralization of plantar pressure was observed with either taping. Participants ranked both tapings more supportive than barefoot. Most participants (77.8%) ranked low-Dye least comfortable, and 55.6% preferred QUICK TAPE over low-Dye.
Additional studies are needed to examine the clinical utility of QUICK TAPE in individuals with foot pathologies such as heel pain syndrome and metatarsalgia.
Retrospective and prospective studies have shown that elevated plantar pressure is a causative factor in the development of many plantar ulcers in diabetic patients and that ulceration is often a precursor of lower-extremity amputation. Herein, we review the evidence that relieving areas of elevated plantar pressure (off-loading) can prevent and heal plantar ulceration.
There is no consensus in the literature concerning the role of off-loading through footwear in the primary or secondary prevention of ulcers. This is likely due to the diversity of intervention and control conditions tested, the lack of information about off-loading efficacy of the footwear used, and the absence of a target pressure threshold for off-loading. Uncomplicated plantar ulcers should heal in 6 to 8 weeks with adequate off-loading. Total-contact casts and other nonremovable devices are most effective because they eliminate the problem of nonadherence to recommendations for using a removable device. Conventional or standard therapeutic footwear is not effective in ulcer healing. Recent US and European surveys show that there is a large discrepancy between guidelines and clinical practice in off-loading diabetic foot ulcers. Many clinics continue to use methods that are known to be ineffective or that have not been proved to be effective while ignoring methods that have demonstrated efficacy.
A variety of strategies are proposed to address this situation, notably the adoption and implementation of recently established international guidelines, which are evidence based and specific, by professional societies in the United States and Europe. Such an approach would improve the often poor current expectations for healing diabetic plantar ulcers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 360–368, 2010)
This study examined the effects of two designs of rigid foot orthoses on plantar pressure measurements and identified differences between the devices. While wearing modified Root- and Blake-style orthoses, 27 subjects were examined with the Electrodynogram (EDG) in-shoe pressure measurement system. Reliability testing was performed on the EDG data. Significant changes were observed in the temporal parameters of gait when subjects wore the orthoses. When the devices were used, the duration of some of the components of stance phase was altered, and the initiation of loading beneath the medial forefoot was delayed. A reduction in the total duration of loading at discrete sites beneath the heel and forefoot was also observed. The effects of the two orthoses were similar, with only small differences observed between the devices. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(4): 184-193, 2001)