Intrinsic foot muscle size and associations with strength, pain and foot-related disability in people with midfoot osteoarthritis

Review written by Dr Melinda Smith info

Key Points

  1. Intrinsic foot muscle cross-sectional area at three locations in the foot was not different between individuals with symptomatic midfoot OA and asymptomatic controls.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic midfoot osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of foot pain and disability affecting 12% of the population aged over 50 years (1). Despite comparable prevalence to hip and knee OA, there has been little research on midfoot OA and evidence-based treatments are limited (2). Improving the understanding of factors associated with symptoms and function in people with midfoot OA may contribute to the development of targeted interventions.

The aims of this study were to:

  • Compare plantar intrinsic foot muscle size between individuals with symptomatic midfoot OA and asymptomatic controls.

  • Explore whether intrinsic foot muscle size was associated with strength, pain and foot-related disability in people with symptomatic midfoot OA.

Symptomatic midfoot osteoarthritis is a common cause of foot pain and disability affecting 12% of the population aged over 50 years.
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Foot muscle strength rather than size may be a more meaningful outcome measure/target in this population.

METHODS

  • Participants: Individuals with and without symptomatic midfoot OA were drawn from a larger cross-sectional observational study (the Leeds Osteoarthritis of the Foot Study) (3). Figure 1 describes inclusion/exclusion criteria for each group.
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