For many years, podiatric physicians have been casting orthotic devices with the foot placed in the subtalar joint neutral position based on work by Root et al. Recent research pertaining to the subtalar joint neutral position during the gait cycle is in disagreement with the theory of Root et al and the inverted subtalar joint neutral casting technique. The current research and a historical perspective of casting techniques will be reviewed to help clarify terminology and to decipher the relationship between the rearfoot position during the gait cycle and casting technique.
A heel orthosis combining the principles of weight redistribution and shock attenuation was dispensed to 30 subjects with heel pain. Relief or cessation of pain occurred in 73% of the cases. The factor most clearly and significantly associated with the effectiveness of the orthosis was a lesser degree of overweight. Within this prescriptive guideline, such a device has the potential of becoming a cost-effective and time-efficient way of treating heel pain of mechanical origin.
The authors provide a comprehensive review of the nature, origins, and natural history of torsion of the lower extremity. Norms for children and adults are discussed, along with implications for treatment.
When patients present with problems for which existing devices are not adequate, research is stimulated. However, new methods and devices must improve on the older versions and should not result in variation that is less effective than the original versions. Variants less effective than the originals will be discussed with illustrative examples. Orthoses, prostheses, and pressure-reduction techniques for the diabetic foot will be considered.
Two case histories of multiple hereditary osteochondromatosis are presented. Multiple hereditary exostoses are the most common inherited systemic disorder of bone. The presence of ankle deformity in 50% of the cases and the potential for malignant transformation make this an important disease for the clinician to be familiar with.
Orthotic management is helpful in the treatment of most orthopedic conditions involving the rearfoot, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon disorders, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, flatfoot, ankle sprains, and problems associated with diabetes, arthritis, and equinus disorders. A review of the effectiveness of orthoses in the treatment of these conditions is presented here. An in-depth analysis of the orthotic management of plantar fasciitis and a critical review of foot orthoses for the pronated foot are presented. Also discussed are the rationale and effectiveness of the tension night splint in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, orthotic devices for the different stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and the various categories of orthoses for off-loading the diabetic foot. The modern ankle brace, the effectiveness of prefabricated versus prescription foot orthoses, and recent developments in the ankle-foot orthosis are also reviewed.
Symptomatic tarsal coalition is often considered to be synonymous with peroneal spastic flatfoot. The association of the cavovarus foot type with tarsal coalition is less well established and has been described only in children. This article describes a case of an adult female with symptomatic cavovarus feet with talocalcaneal coalition. The authors theorize about the pathology of muscle spasm and pain in patients with this condition.
A patient presented with monarthric ankle pain, which took 2 years to diagnose by numerous physicians and imaging and laboratory tests. A review of the differential diagnosis for monarthritic joint pain with guidelines for the work-up of the patient are presented.
A clinical study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the Viscoped Insole as compared with an 1/8-inch PORON medical materials insole in the treatment of lesser submetatarsal hyperkeratotic callosities. Thirty-five patients, ranging in age from 23 through 61 years (average 42 years) were randomly divided into three groups. All three groups initially had debridement of their submetatarsal callosities. In addition to the debridement, the first group (16 patients) wore a Viscoped Insole for 4 weeks. The patients in the second group wore a PORON insole for 4 weeks. The third group did not receive an insole after their debridement and served as the control. There was a significant improvement in the Viscoped group and the PORON group versus the control group (x2 = 40; p < 0.01) as measured by the foot function index. Insole therapy combined with debridement for submetatarsal hyperkeratoses is more effective than debridement alone.
Reliability and normal values for the relaxed calcaneal stance position were determined in a nonclinic population of healthy adults and children (88 adults and 124 children) ranging in age from 5 to 36 years. The mean relaxed calcaneal stance position for adults was 6.07 degrees valgus (SD 2.71 degrees) (range, 1 degree varus to 14 degrees valgus). The mean relaxed calcaneal stance position for children was 5.6 degrees valgus (SD 2.9 degrees) (range, 6 degrees varus to 12 degrees valgus). There was no significant difference between the relaxed calcaneal stance positions of adults and children. In children the relaxed calcaneal stance position did not correlate with age, height, or weight and did not decrease with age to the theoretical normal value of 0 degree +/- 2 degrees as postulated by Root et al. The relaxed calcaneal stance position was found to be a reliable measurement; however, the theoretical normal value of 0 degree +/- 2 degrees was not found. The values reported in the present study correspond with the results of other empirical studies; thus the theoretical normal value for the relaxed calcaneal stance position of 0 degree +/- 2 degrees may be invalid.