Examining for a possible limb length discrepancy is an important part of the podiatric biomechanical examination. The authors present a review of the literature pertaining to the definition of and examination for a limb length discrepancy. They present a typical rationale for lift therapy in the treatment of this pathology.
Injury patterns associated with walking and hiking activities were examined for all patients presenting to the clinic over a 1-year period. Among the patient group, the authors found that most injuries were unilateral, resulting from overuse, and occurred in the lower extremity, particularly in the foot, ankle, and knee. There are limited studies investigating walking and hiking injury rates in the general population. The results can be applied only to a small specific sample of the population.
Ten subjects with a known limb length discrepancy were filmed with the two-dimensional Motion Analysis Foot Trak System; eight were filmed running and walking and two were filmed walking only. A control group of ten subjects with no measured limb length discrepancy was filmed in the same manner (eight walking and running and two walking only). The calcaneus-to-vertical angle was recorded for the entire stance gait cycle (heel contact to toe-off). Analysis of the data between the short and long side showed a significant difference in calcaneal position between the two sides at midstance, with the longer side being more everted by 3 degrees or greater than the short side in most cases. There was no significant difference in the calcaneus-to-vertical angle at heel contact between the long and short side. There was no significant difference between the calcaneus-to-vertical angles of the right and left sides of the ten control subjects, either walking or running.
The control of excessively pronating feet in athletes can be a prolonged and frustrating experience for both the doctor and the patient. The inverted orthotic technique has previously been described for making a device that has two basic applications: to control excessive subtalar joint pronation, especially where a Root or modified Root device cannot, and to invert the entire lower limb for such problems as medial knee pain. The authors present two case histories that highlight the indications of this orthotic device for the athletic population.
The authors discuss surgical versus conservative management of closed Achilles tendon ruptures. They favor a conservative approach in most cases and present arguments to support this preference. They present a protocol for conservative management of closed Achilles tendon ruptures, which has been developed at the Center for Sports Medicine, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco.