Volume 1 Supplement 1

1st Congress of the International Foot & Ankle Biomechanics (i-FAB) community

Open Access

Foot motion in children and adults

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research20081(Suppl 1):O26

DOI: 10.1186/1757-1146-1-S1-O26

Published: 26 September 2008

Introduction

When studying the function of the human foot, foot pressure measurements offer some insight into the biomechanics of the growing foot [1] and models have been proposed to measure the foot kinematics especially of children [2]. Aside from ankle kinematics however [3], little is known about differences in foot motion between children and adults. This ongoing study therefore examines the foot kinematics of normal subjects in a large age range.

Methods

Normal feet of 30 children aged 4–11 years (mean 7.8 yrs) and of 24 adults aged 19–51 years (mean 32.4 yrs) have been examined by instrumented gait analysis using the Heidelberg foot measurement method (HFMM) [4] with the marker set illustrated in Figure 1. In this method, the motion of the hind foot is described relative to the tibia by tibio-talar (ankle) flexion and subtalar rotation. For mid- and forefoot motion, functional parameters are evaluated which are relevant for a clinical evaluation forming together a standardized set of 12 angles. The ROM in each angle has been determined across the gait cycle as a "dynamic" evaluation. Further, these parameters have been evaluated in mid swing to find "static" differences with respect to age in the geometry of the unloaded foot. A student T-Test was used to evaluate differences between the feet of children and adults.
Figure 1

Marker set.

Results

Data are summarized in Table 1. We find a smaller ROM across the gait cycle in (conventional) ankle flexion for children in agreement with [3] and specifically a smaller ROM in tibio-talar flexion. Further, children show smaller ROMs in forefoot supination and adduction. Most prominent "static" findings in mid swing were a higher cavus (smaller medial arch angle) and less divergent metatarsals (MT 1–5 angle) with also a smaller ROM in children compared to adults.
Table 1

Comparison of foot parameters

 

Children

Adults

p

ROM Tib.-talar flexion

19 ± 4

25 ± 6

0.000

ROM Ankle flexion

30 ± 5

34 ± 7

0.017

ROM Subtalar evers

11 ± 2

11 ± 3

0.504

ROM Medial arch

17 ± 4

17 ± 4

0.789

ROM Medial arch tilt

19 ± 7

17 ± 7

0.393

ROM Lateral arch

13 ± 3

13 ± 3

0.634

ROM Fore/Hindf. add.

9 ± 3

10 ± 3

0.109

ROM Foref./Ankle add

12 ± 3

14 ± 4

0.042

ROM Foref/Ankle supi

10 ± 2

14 ± 4

0.000

ROM Fore/midf. supin

6 ± 2

6 ± 2

0.463

ROM MT1-5 Angle

10 ± 3

13 ± 4

0.003

ROM Hallux abduct

8 ± 3

6 ± 2

0.029

ROM Hallux extens

46 ± 8

48 ± 8

0.379

ROM Foot Alignment

15 ± 5

13 ± 5

0.377

MSw Subtalar evers

7 ± 6

8 ± 6

0.607

MSw Medial arch

122 ± 8

129 ± 10

0.009

MSw Medial arch tilt

-3 ± 7

0 ± 9

0.131

MSw Lateral arch

-1 ± 7

-4 ± 6

0.119

MSw Fore/Hindf. add.

-13 ± 4

-13 ± 6

0.839

MSw Foref./ankle add.

-6 ± 4

-4 ± 4

0.015

MSw Foref./Ankle supi

7 ± 4

9 ± 4

0.073

MSw Fore/midf. supi

-12 ± 5

-12 ± 4

0.847

MSw MT1-5 angle

0 ± 5

6 ± 5

0.000

MSw Hallux abduct

-14 ± 5

-15 ± 6

0.286

MSw Hallux extens

21 ± 8

19 ± 6

0.430

MSt Foot Align. (ARO)

2 ± 5

5 ± 4

0.008

Conclusion

In normal walking, foot motion in children differs significantly to foot motion in adults with respect to forefoot and hind foot motion.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Heidelberg

References

  1. Bosch K, Gerss J, Rosenbaum D: Gait Posture. 2007, 26 (2): 238-47. 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.09.014.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Stebbins J, et al: Gait Posture. 2006, 23 (4): 401-10. 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2005.03.002.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ganley KJ, Powers CM: Gait Posture. 2005, 21 (2): 141-5. 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.01.007.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Simon J, et al: Gait Posture. 2006, 23 (4): 411-24. 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2005.07.003.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Wolf; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

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