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Reliability and Correlation of Static and Dynamic Foot Arch Measurement in a Healthy Pediatric Population

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  • 1 Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Human Movement Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
  • | 2 Department of Sport Science, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany.
  • | 3 Department of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
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Background:

Measurement of the medial longitudinal foot arch in children is a controversial topic, as there are many different methods without a definite standard procedure. The purpose of this study was to 1) investigate intraday and interrater reliability regarding dynamic arch index and static arch height, 2) explore the correlation between both arch indices, and 3) examine the variation of the medial longitudinal arch at two different times of the day.

Methods:

Eighty-six children (mean ± SD age, 8.9 ± 1.9 years) participated in the study. Dynamic footprint data were captured with a pedobarographic platform. For static arch measurements, a specially constructed caliper was used to assess heel-to-toe length and dorsum height. A mixed model was established to determine reliability and variation.

Results:

Reliability was found to be excellent for the static arch height index in sitting (intraday, 0.90; interrater, 0.80) and standing positions (0.88 and 0.85) and for the dynamic arch index (both 1.00). There was poor correlation between static and dynamic assessment of the medial longitudinal arch (standing dynamic arch index, r = –0.138; sitting dynamic arch index, r = –0.070). Static measurements were found to be significantly influenced by the time of day (P < .001), whereas the dynamic arch index was unchanged (P = .845). This study revealed some further important findings. The static arch height index is influenced by gender (P = .004), whereas dynamic arch index is influenced by side (P = .011) and body mass index (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Dynamic and static foot measurements are reliable for medial longitudinal foot arch assessment in children. The variation of static arch measurements during the day has to be kept in mind. For clinical purposes, static and dynamic arch data should be interpreted separately.

Corresponding author: Karsten Hollander, MD, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Human Movement Science, University of Hamburg, Turmweg 2, Hamburg 20148, Germany. (E-mail: karsten.hollander@uni-hamburg.de)