This article explores relevant full-text literature to reveal the effects of heel height on gait and posture and the kinetics and kinematics of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and spine. Furthermore, special attention will be given to the implications of increased heel height for clinicians treating locomotor disorders and provide information to aid clinical decision making. Full-text articles accessed from databases including AMED, ASSIA, Blackwell Synergy, BNI, Voyager, CINAHL, ScienceDirect, and Taylor Francis inform the review. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(6): 512–518, 2009)
Equinus is characterized by reduced dorsiflexion of the ankle joint, but there is a lack of consensus regarding criteria for definition and diagnosis. This review examines the literature relating to the definition, assessment, diagnosis, prevalence, and complications of equinus. Articles on equinus and assessment of ankle joint range of motion were identified by searching the EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, EBSCOhost, Cinahl, and Cochrane databases and by examining the reference lists of the articles found. There is inconsistency regarding the magnitude of reduction in dorsiflexion required to constitute a diagnosis of equinus and no standard method for assessment; hence, the prevalence of equinus is unknown. Goniometric assessment of ankle joint range of motion was shown to be unreliable, whereas purpose-built tools demonstrated good reliability. Reduced dorsiflexion is associated with alterations in gait, increased forefoot pressure, and ankle injury, the magnitude of reduction in range of motion required to predispose to foot or lower-limb abnormalities is not known. In the absence of definitive data, we propose a two-stage definition of equinus: the first stage would reflect dorsiflexion of less than 10° with minor compensation and a minor increase in forefoot pressure, and the second stage would reflect dorsiflexion of less than 5° with major compensation and a major increase in forefoot pressure. This proposed definition of equinus will assist with standardizing the diagnosis and will provide a basis for future studies of the prevalence, causes, and complications of this condition. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(3): 195–203, 2010)
Background: Plantar fascia release for chronic plantar fasciitis has provided excellent pain relief and rapid return to activities with few reported complications. Cadaveric studies have led to the identification of some potential postoperative problems, most commonly weakness of the medial longitudinal arch and pain in the lateral midfoot.
Methods: An electronic search was conducted of the MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, SportDiscus, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and AMED databases. The keywords used to search these databases were plantar fasciotomy and medial longitudinal arch. Articles published between 1976 and 2008 were identified.
Results: Collectively, results of cadaveric studies suggested that plantar fasciotomy leads to loss of integrity of the medial longitudinal arch and that total plantar fasciotomy is more detrimental to foot structure than is partial fasciotomy. In vivo studies, although limited in number, concluded that although clinical outcomes were satisfactory, medial longitudinal arch height decreased and the center of pressure of the weightbearing foot was excessively medially deviated postoperatively.
Conclusions: Plantar fasciotomy, in particular total plantar fasciotomy, may lead to loss of stability of the medial longitudinal arch and abnormalities in gait, in particular an excessively pronated foot. Further in vivo studies on the long-term biomechanical effects of plantar fasciotomy are required. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 422–430, 2009)
Ankle dorsiflexion measurement is important for clinical and research use. With so much evidence on the unreliability of goniometric measurements, a systematic review was performed to investigate various alternative techniques for measuring ankle dorsiflexion in the nonneurologic patient. All of the major databases were queried electronically to identify studies that used any method of ankle dorsiflexion measurement in the nonneurologic subject. Keywords included ankle dorsiflexion NOT cerebral palsy NOT stroke, the latter to exclude neurologic conditions. In 755 studies that used some form of ankle joint dorsiflexion measurement, ten different techniques were identified that included various apparatuses designed specifically for this purpose. Reliability testing of these techniques involved test-retest trials with small student populations as subjects, which returned high intraclass correlation coefficient scores. However, their methodological quality would have benefitted from the use of an actual patient population and comparison with a reference standard. When validating ankle dorsiflexion measurement techniques, actual patient populations should be used, otherwise papers would score poorly on methodological quality assessment. Standardizing patient position, foot posture, amount of moment applied, and reference landmarks will ensure that various trial results can be compared directly. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 59–69, 2011)
Plantar keratodermas can arise due to a variety of genetically inherited mutations. The need to distinguish between different plantar keratoderma disorders is becoming increasingly apparent because there is evidence that they do not respond identically to treatment. Diagnosis can be aided by observation of other clinical manifestations, such as palmar keratoderma, more widespread hyperkeratosis of the epidermis, hair and nail dystrophies, or erythroderma. However, there are frequent cases of plantar keratoderma that occur in isolation. This review focuses on the rare autosomal dominant keratin disorder pachyonychia congenita, which presents with particularly painful plantar keratoderma for which there is no specific treatment. Typically, patients regularly trim/pare/file/grind their calluses and file/grind/clip their nails. Topical agents, including keratolytics (eg, salicylic acid, urea) and moisturizers, can provide limited benefit by softening the skin. For some patients, retinoids help to thin calluses but may lead to increased pain. This finding has stimulated a drive for alternative treatment options, from gene therapy to alternative nongenetic methods that focus on novel findings regarding the pathogenesis of pachyonychia congenita and the function of the underlying genes.