The Effect of Low-Mobile Foot Posture on Multi-Segment Medial Foot Model Gait Kinematics

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A number of in vitro, invasive in vivo, and non-invasive marker based multi-segment foot models (MSFMs) have reported significant motion in the articulations distal to the calcaneus during gait. Few studies, however, have applied a MSFM to the investigation of the effect of foot posture on gait kinematics. Differences in stance phase kinematics between participants with low-mobile (LMF) (n = 11) versus “typical” (TYPF) (n = 11) foot postures were investigated using a multi-segment medial foot model. Three-dimensional position and stance phase excursions of four functional articulations (rearfoot complex [RC], calcaneonavicular complex [CNC], medial forefoot, first metatarsophalangeal complex) were quantified using an eight optical camera motion analysis system (Vicon Motus, Vicon Motions Systems, Centennial, CO) and a custom written software program (Matlab 7.0.1, The MathWorks, Natick, MA), respectively. Excursions during four subphases of stance phase (loading response, midstance, terminal stance, pre-swing) at each of the functional articulations were compared using multivariate analyses of variance (α ≤ 0.05). Results revealed significantly decreased LMF group CNC abduction excursion (p = 0.047) during midstance. During pre-swing, LMF group RC inversion excursion was significantly increased (p = 0.032) and eversion excursion was significantly decreased (p = 0.003) compared to the TYPF group. When these differences are considered in conjunction with the kinematic patterns of other foot/leg segments and functional articulations, the changes may suggest dysfunction of normal leg-calcaneus coupling and the constrained tarsal mechanism associated with low-mobile foot postures.