The definition of equinus varies from less than 0° to less than 25° of dorsiflexion with the foot at 90° to the leg. Despite its pervasive nature and broad association with many lower-extremity conditions, the prevalence of ankle equinus is unclear. Furthermore, there are few data to suggest whether equinus is predominantly a bilateral finding or isolated to the affected limb only.
We conducted a prospective cohort study examining consecutive patients attending a single foot and ankle specialty practice. Participation involved an assessment of ankle joint range of motion by a single rater with more than 25 years of clinical experience. We defined ankle equinus as ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion less than or equal to 0° and severe equinus as less than or equal to –5°. Patients who had previously experienced an Achilles tendon rupture, undergone posterior group lengthening (ie, Achilles tendon or gastrocnemius muscle lengthening), or had conservative or surgical treatment of equinus previously were excluded.
Of 249 included patients, 61% were female and 79% nondiabetic. The prevalence of ankle equinus was 73% [183 of 249], and nearly all of these patients had bilateral restriction of ankle joint range of motion (prevalence of bilateral ankle equinus was 98.4% [180 of 183] among those with equinus). We also found that ankle equinus was more common in patients with diabetes, higher body mass indexes (BMIs), or overuse symptoms.
The prevalence of ankle equinus in this sample was higher than previously reported, and nearly all of these patients had bilateral involvement. These data suggest that many people attending foot/ankle specialty clinics will have ankle equinus, and select groups (diabetes, increased BMI, overuse symptoms) are increasingly likely.
Up to 10% of people will experience heel pain. The purpose of this prospective, double-blind, randomized clinical trial was to compare custom foot orthoses (CFO), prefabricated foot orthoses (PFO), and sham insole treatment for plantar fasciitis.
Seventy-seven patients with plantar fasciitis for less than 1 year were included. Outcome measures included first step and end of day pain, Revised Foot Function Index short form (FFI-R), 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), activity monitoring, balance, and gait analysis.
The CFO group had significantly improved total FFI-R scores (77.4 versus 57.2; P = .03) without group differences for FFI-R pain, SF-36, and morning or evening pain. The PFO and CFO groups reported significantly lower morning and evening pain. For activity, the CFO group demonstrated significantly longer episodes of walking over the sham (P = .019) and PFO (P = .03) groups, with a 125% increase for CFOs, 22% PFOs, and 0.2% sham. Postural transition duration (P = .02) and balance (P = .05) improved for the CFO group. There were no gait differences. The CFO group reported significantly less stretching and ice use at 3 months.
The CFO group demonstrated 5.6-fold greater improvements in spontaneous physical activity versus the PFO and sham groups. All three groups improved in morning pain after treatment that included standardized athletic shoes, stretching, and ice. The CFO changes may have been moderated by decreased stretching and ice use after 3 months. These findings suggest that more objective measures, such as spontaneous physical activity improvement, may be more sensitive and specific for detecting improved weightbearing function than traditional clinical outcome measures, such as pain and disease-specific quality of life.
Background: Clinicians, governmental agencies, patients, and pharmaceutical companies all contribute to the United States' opioid epidemic. These same stakeholders can make meaningful contributions to resolve the epidemic by identifying ineffective habits and encouraging change. The purpose of this study was to determine if postoperative opioid prescribing practice variation exists in foot and ankle surgery. We also aimed to identify if demographic characteristics of podiatric foot and ankle surgeons were associated with their postoperative opioid prescribing practices. Methods: We administered an open, voluntary, anonymous, online questionnaire distributed on the internet via Qualtrics, an online survey platform. The questionnaire consisted of six foot and ankle surgery scenarios followed by a demographics section. We invited Podiatric foot and ankle surgeons practicing in the United States to complete the questionnaire via email from the American Podiatric Medical Association's membership list. Respondents selected the postoperative opioid(s) that they would prescribe at the time of surgery, as well as the dose, frequency, and number of "pills" (dosage units). We developed multiple linear regression models to identify associations between prescriber characteristics and two measures of opioid quantity: dosage units and MME. Results: Eight hundred and sixty podiatric foot and ankle surgeons completed the survey. The median number of dosage units never exceeded 30 regardless of the foot and ankle surgery. Years in practice correlated with reduction in opioid dosage units prescribed at the time of surgery. Conclusions: Postoperative opioid prescribing practice variation exists in foot and ankle surgery. In comparison to the orthopedic community, podiatric foot and ankle surgeons prescribe approximately 25% fewer opioids at the time of surgery than orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons. Further research is warranted to determine if additional education is needed for young surgeons.