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Background: It has been suggested that a lowered medial longitudinal arch is a causal factor in the development of plantar fasciitis, but there is little evidence to support this hypothesis.

Research question/s: Does sagittal movement of the arch during gait differ in subjects with and without plantar fasciitis?

Methodology:Subjects: 20 subjects: 10 subjects with unilateral plantar fasciitis (PF) and 10 matched controls (CON).

Experimental procedure: All of the subjects underwent walking at a self-selected speed during which digital fluoroscopy was used to acquire dynamic lateral radiographs from each subject by digitising and then recoding the respective maxima of (1) arch angle; and (2) first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) angle. Sagittal movement of the arch was defined as the angular change between heel strike and the maximum arch angle observed during the stance phase of gait. The thickness of the proximal plantar fascia was determined from sagittal sonograms of both feet.

Measures of outcome: Arch angle (maximum and movement) and MTPJ angle, plantar fascia thickness

Main finding/s:

  • Arch angle: there was no significant difference in either the movement or maximum arch angle between limbs

  • MTPJ angle: subjects in the PF group had larger MTPJ angle compared with CON subjects (p<0.05)

  • There was a significant correlation (p<0.05) between fascial thickness and peak arch and metatarsophalangeal joint angles (p<0.05) in the symptomatic limb

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Conclusion/s: …

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