RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S.
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Effect of foot shape on the three-dimensional position of foot bones.

To eliminate some of the ambiguity in describing foot shape, we developed three-dimensional (3D), objective measures of foot type based on computerized tomography (CT) scans. Feet were classified via clinical examination as pes cavus (high arch), neutrally aligned (normal arch), asymptomatic pes planus (flat arch with no pain), or symptomatic pes planus (flat arch with pain). We enrolled 10 subjects of each foot type; if both feet were of the same foot type, then each foot was scanned (n=65 total). Partial weightbearing (20% body weight) CT scans were performed. We generated embedded coordinate systems for each foot bone by assuming uniform density and calculating the inertial matrix. Cardan angles were used to describe five bone-to-bone relationships, resulting in 15 angular measurements. Significant differences were found among foot types for 12 of the angles. The angles were also used to develop a classification tree analysis, which determined the correct foot type for 64 of the 65 feet. Our measure provides insight into how foot bone architecture differs between foot types. The classification tree analysis demonstrated that objective measures can be used to discriminate between feet with high, normal, and low arches.

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