Morton's neuroma is a common condition that routinely presents in podiatric practice. The aim of this study was to systematically synthesize the evidence relating to the effectiveness of a corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma.
Studies with a publication date of 1960 or later were eligible, and searches were performed within the Turning Research Into Practice database; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register; MEDLINE (Ovid); PubMed; Embase; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; and the gray literature. Study selection criteria included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials where a single corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma pain was investigated. The primary outcome was Morton's neuroma pain as measured by any standard validated pain scale.
Ten studies involving 695 participants were included. The quality of the studies was considered low and subject to bias. Of the included studies, five compared corticosteroid injection to usual care, one compared corticosteroid injection to local anesthetic alone, one compared ultrasound-guided to non–ultrasound-guided injections, three compared corticosteroid injections to surgery, one compared small to large neuromas, six assessed patient satisfaction, four measured adverse events, one studied return to work, and one examined failure of the corticosteroid injection to improve pain. Overall, these studies identified a moderate short- to medium-term benefit of corticosteroid injections on the primary outcome of pain and a low adverse event rate.
A single corticosteroid injection appears to have a beneficial short- to medium-term effect on Morton's neuroma pain. It appears superior to usual care, but its superiority to local anaesthetic alone is questionable, and it is inferior to surgical excision. A very low adverse event rate was noted throughout the studies, indicating the intervention is safe when used for Morton's neuroma. However, the quality of the evidence is low, and these findings may change with further research.
This research project investigated the orthotic prescription habits of podiatric physicians in Australia and New Zealand. A 23-item questionnaire was distributed to all members of the Australian Podiatry Association and the New Zealand Society of Podiatrists. When asked what type of foot orthoses they prescribe most often, 72% of respondents reported functional foot orthoses; the next most common response was prefabricated orthoses (12%). A typical prescription for functional foot orthoses consisted of a modified Root style orthosis, balanced to the neutral calcaneal stance position, with the shell made from polypropylene and an ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) rearfoot post applied. The majority of podiatric physicians surveyed used a commercial orthotic laboratory to fabricate their orthoses. However, New Zealand respondents were three times more likely to prescribe prefabricated foot orthoses, and males were twice as likely as females to manufacture the orthoses themselves rather than use a commercial orthotic laboratory. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(4): 174-183, 2001)
Clinicians often use foot orthoses to manage the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Although there has been considerable research evaluating the effectiveness of orthoses for this condition, there is still a lack of scientific evidence that is of suitable quality to fully inform clinical practice. Randomized controlled trials are recognized as the “gold standard” when evaluating the effectiveness of treatments. We discuss why randomized controlled trials are so important, the features of a well-conducted randomized controlled trial, and some of the problems that arise when trial design is not sound. We then evaluate the available evidence for the use of foot orthoses, with particular focus on published randomized controlled trials. From the evidence to date, it seems that foot orthoses do have a role in the management of plantar fasciitis and that prefabricated orthoses are a worthwhile initial management strategy. At this time, however, it is not possible to recommend either prefabricated or customized orthoses as being better, and it cannot be inferred that customized orthoses are more effective over time and therefore have a cost advantage. Additional good-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to answer these questions. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(6): 542–549, 2004)
Some clinicians may feel dissociated from, and intimidated by the ever-increasing emphasis on research. However, with an understanding of some of the basic principles and key terms, research can feel less daunting. It is the aim of this article, the second in a series of three focusing on understanding research, to introduce clinicians to the different approaches to research, to improve understanding of what the approaches mean, and to highlight when a particular approach may be appropriate. Furthermore, the article will provide an explanation of some of the common terms used within clinical research. This should aid the clinician in applying good, simple, scientific principles to evaluating clinical research evidence. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(3): 159-169, 2002)
Falls are common in older people and are associated with substantial health-care costs. A recent randomized controlled trial of a multifaceted podiatric medical intervention demonstrated a 36% reduction in the fall rate over 12 months. We evaluated the acceptability of and levels of satisfaction with this intervention in the older people who participated in the trial.
Participants allocated to the intervention group (which included a home-based program of foot and ankle exercises, assistance with the purchase of safe footwear when necessary, and provision of prefabricated foot orthoses) completed a structured questionnaire 6 months after they had received the intervention. The questions addressed participants’ perceptions of their balance and foot and ankle strength, the perceived difficulty of the exercise program, and the degree of satisfaction with the footwear and orthoses provided.
Of 153 participants, 134 (87.6%) attended the 6-month follow-up assessment and completed the questionnaire. Most participants perceived improvements in balance (62.7%) and foot and ankle strength (74.6%) after 6 months of performing the exercises, and 86.6% considered the difficulty level of the exercises to be “about right.” Most participants reported that they were somewhat or very satisfied with the footwear (92.3%) and orthoses (81.6%) provided.
The multifaceted podiatric medical intervention used in this trial was generally perceived to be beneficial and demonstrated high levels of satisfaction among participants. Further research is now required to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the intervention in a range of clinical practice settings. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(6): 457–464, 2013)