Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006-12-01)

THE INFLUENCE OF A FOOT ORTHOTIC ON LOWER EXTREMITY TRANSVERSE PLANE KINEMATICS IN COLLEGIATE FEMALE ATHLETES WITH PES PLANUS

  • Christopher R. Carcia,
  • Joshua M. Drouin,
  • Peggy A. Houglum

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 4
pp. 646 – 655

Abstract

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Non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female athletes remain prevalent. Athletes with excessive foot pronation have been identified to be at greater risk for non-contact ACL injury. Excessive foot pronation has been linked to increased medial tibial rotation. Increased medial tibial rotation heightens ACL strain and has been observed at or near the time of ACL injury. Foot orthotics have been shown to decrease medial tibial rotation during walking and running tasks. The effect of a foot orthotic on activities that simulate a non-contact ACL injury mechanism (i.e. landing) however is unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine whether a foot orthotic was capable of altering transverse plane lower extremity kinematics in female athletes during landing. Twenty uninjured collegiate female athletes participating in the sports of basketball, soccer or volleyball with pes planus volunteered. Utilizing a repeated measures counterbalanced design, subjects completed two landing tasks with and without a foot orthotic using standardized footwear. The prefabricated orthotic had a rigid shell and a 6 extrinsic rear-foot varus post. Dependent measures included initial contact angle, peak angle, excursion and time to peak angle for both the tibia and femur. Statistical analysis suggested that the selected foot orthosis had little influence over lower extremity transverse plane kinematics. Several factors including: the limitation of a static measure to predict dynamic movement, inter-subject variability and the physical characteristics of the orthotic device likely account for the results. Future research should examine the influence of different types of foot orthotics not only on lower extremity kinematics but also tibiofemoral kinetics

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