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- Author or Editor: Wesley Vernon x
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Qualitative analysis of shoe wear patterns collected from a questionnaire evaluating podiatric physicians’ experiences in this area suggests that wear patterns could indicate causative function within a known pathologic context. Several different functions are suggested by patterns associated with each of the pathologic entities involved, and analysis of the relationship between patterns and reasons given by respondents for pattern-form variations show the strongest associations to be with functionally termed conditions. A basic model is proposed to present factors important in wear pattern production, suggesting that a new concept of primary walking intention is more influential than foot pathologies in wear pattern formation and that external factors are also influential, with the combined factors being described as the “holistic foot function.” This model may provide a variety of benefits to podiatric medicine; as shoe wear patterns are records of the usual long-term activity of the functioning foot, this paradigm could form a basis for podiatric medical practice. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(3): 261–268, 2004)
The practice of the clinical podiatrist traditionally focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Clinical podiatrists are expected to be mindful of “the principles and applications of scientific enquiry.” This includes the evaluation of treatment efficacy and the research process. In contrast, the forensic podiatrist specializes in the analysis of foot-, ankle-, and gait-related evidence in the context of the criminal justice system. Although forensic podiatry is a separate, specialized field, many aspects of this discipline can be useful in the clinical treatment and management of foot and ankle problems. The authors, who are forensic podiatrists, contend that the clinical podiatrist can gain significant insights from the field of forensic podiatry. This article aims to provide clinical podiatrists with an overview of the principles and methods that have been tested and applied by forensic podiatrists in their practice, and suggests that the clinical practice of the nonforensic foot practitioner may benefit from such knowledge.