Foot and leg muscle weakness in people with midfoot osteoarthritis

Review written by Dr Melinda Smith info

Key Points

  1. Deficits in foot and leg muscle strength were identified in people with symptomatic midfoot osteoarthritis (OA) compared to asymptomatic controls.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Midfoot osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of chronic foot pain, reported to affect 1 in 8 individuals over 50 years of age (1). There is currently limited evidence to guide the treatment of midfoot OA (2). Understanding the clinical features and functional consequences of the condition is an important step toward the development of effective interventions.

To date, investigations have focused on structural and biomechanical factors, such as static alignment, foot motion and plantar pressures (3). Muscle strength is important for joint control and stability and is a potentially modifiable factor, but has not been examined in this population.

The aims of this study were to compare foot and leg muscle strength in individuals with symptomatic midfoot osteoarthritis with asymptomatic controls, and to investigate whether muscle strength was associated with foot pain and foot-related disability.

Muscle strength is important for joint control and stability and is a potentially modifiable factor, but has not been examined in this population.
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Strengthening the foot and leg muscles could be a viable clinical target to reduce pain and disability in this population.

METHODS

52 individuals with symptomatic midfoot OA and 36 asymptomatic controls participated in the study. All participants were aged 40 years or more.

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