To examine whether conformational changes induced by plantar fascial division may progress during gait, we loaded the feet of seven cadavers using an apparatus that simulates the actions of the extrinsic plantarflexors. We measured the effects of plantar fasciotomy at two instants in the terminal- stance phase of gait. Radiographic measurements of height of the arch, base length of the arch, and talo first-metatarsal angle were used to assess contributions to arch support made by the plantar fascia, tibialis posterior, peroneus longus and brevis, and digital flexor muscles. Complete fasciotomy caused significant collapse of the arch in the sagittal plane. Early in terminal stance, at the instant after heel-off, mean height of the arch decreased from 47 to 45 mm. Late in terminal stance, at the instant preceding contralateral heel strike, mean height of the arch decreased from 46 to 43. Effects of division of the central band, though significant, were mild. Medial base length of the arch increased from 163 to 167 mm in the absence of tibialis posterior contraction at late terminal stance. Arch-supporting abilities of the other extrinsic muscles were insignificant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine