One of effective therapeutic treatment involves the use of inserts to alter the foot biomechanical alignment and reduce the pain. It is essential to select an appropriate insert based upon foot functions by dynamic plantar pressure measurements. The goal of this study was to evaluate children's kinetic abnormalities in feet with tarsal coalition using plantar pressure measurements.
The design of this study was a prospective cohort with normal control, which is considered as Level 3 Evidence.
The study was conducted in a motion analysis laboratory at a private pediatric health care system with an academic affiliation.
Nine patients, ages 6 to 16 years who were diagnosed with tarsal coalition were recruited. Exclusion criteria included the presence of neuromuscular disease or the inability to ambulate.
Plantar pressure measurements were performed using the EMED platform. Each subject stepped on the platform three times while walking at a self-selected speed along a 5-meter walkway. There were also normal plantar pressure data in 68 typically developing children from a previous study. Four pressure parameters were then calculated in eight anatomical regions, including contact area, peak pressure, pressure-time, and instant of peak pressure.
An independent student t-test and Bonferroni correction was performed to compare dynamic plantar pressure metrics between those of our tarsal coalition subjects and those from previously recorded normal data.
Increased contact area at the midfoot and increased peak pressures at the midfoot, 1st metatarsal and hallux were significant in children with tarsal coalition (P < 0.05).
The remarkable kinetic differences between tarsal coalition and normal foot pressure suggest it is important to have plantar pressure analysis in barefoot walking prior to orthotic selection.