Functional impairments characterising mild, moderate and severe hallux valgus
Hurn, Sheree Elizabeth, Vicenzino, Bill, & Smith, Michelle (2015) Functional impairments characterising mild, moderate and severe hallux valgus. Arthritis Care & Research, 67(1), pp. 80-88.
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Hallux valgus has been linked to functional disability and increased falls risk, but mechanisms underpinning functional disability are unclear. This study investigated functional performance, muscle strength and plantar pressures in adults with mild, moderate, and severe HV compared to controls, while considering the influence of foot pain.
Sixty adults with hallux valgus (classified as mild, moderate and severe on dorsalplantar radiographs) and 30 controls participated. Measures included: hallux plantarflexion and abduction strength, walking performance, postural sway and forefoot plantar pressures. Multiple analysis of covariance and pairwise comparisons (p<0.05, Bonferroni adjustment) were used to investigate differences between groups, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index and foot pain.
Hallux plantarflexion and abduction strength was significantly reduced in those with moderate (mean differences: plantarflexion -45.8N, abduction -12.3N, p<0.001) and severe hallux valgus (plantarflexion -50.1N, p<0.001; abduction -11.2N, p=0.01) compared to controls. A significant reduction in hallux peak pressure and pressure-time integral was evident in moderate (peak pressure -90.8kPa, p<0.001) and severe hallux valgus (peak pressure -106.2kPa, p<0.001) compared to controls. Those with severe hallux valgus also demonstrated increased mediolateral postural sway in single leg stance compared to controls (3.5cm, p=0.01).
Moderate to severe hallux valgus is associated with reduced hallux plantar pressures and strength measures, while relatively normal function compared to controls was found in those with mild deformity. Greater understanding of specific functional deficits associated with different stages of hallux valgus will help inform clinical management and future research.
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