The effect of modifying foot progression angle on the knee loading parameters in healthy participants with different static foot postures

Rongmei Qiu, Rui Xu, Deqiang Wang, Dong Ming
Gait & Posture 2020 June 24, 81: 7-13

BACKGROUND: Studies have found that toe-in gait reduced the peak knee adduction moment (KAM) during early stance, while toe-out gait reduced the peak KAM during late stance. However, some other studies found that toe-in or toe-out gait could reduce the KAM throughout stance phase. There is still a divergence of opinion on the use of toe-in or toe-out gait for reducing the KAM.

RESEARCH QUESTION: This study aimed to investigate whether static foot posture affected participants' biomechanical responses to three self-selected foot progression angles (FPA): neutral, toe-out and toe-in.

METHODS: Twenty-seven healthy participants were recruited for this FPA gait modification experiment and classified into three groups: neutral (n = 8), supination (n = 9) and pronation (n = 10), based on the Foot Posture Index (FPI). The kinematic and kinetic data were recorded with Vicon motion capture system and three force plates. The knee adduction moment and ankle eversion moment were calculated using an inverse dynamics model. The effect of the FPA modification on the knee loading parameters was analysed by the Friedman non-parametric test.

RESULTS: The KAM results in the neutral group showed that the toe-in gait modification reduced the first peak of the KAM (KAM1), while the KAM1 was increased in the supination group. The effect of the FPA modification on the KAM1 did not reach significance in the pronation group. The toe-out gait modification reduced the second peak (KAM2) regardless of the static posture.

SIGNIFICANCE: Different static foot postures were correlated with different peak KAM during the early stance phase due to FPA modification. These data suggest that the assessment of static foot posture provides a reference on how to offer adequate FPA modification for knee OA patients with different foot postures.

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