Research Day

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INTRODUCTION: Prior studies have demonstrated that patients with foot and ankle pain have an associated isolated gastrocnemius contracture (decrease in ankle dorsiflexion). It remains unclear if this is a casual, or a causal relationship. The purpose of the current study is to report validated ankle dorsiflexion in both legs of patients with unilateral foot and ankle pain to provide some insight into the relationship between an isolated gastrocnemius contracture and foot and ankle pain. Our hypothesis was that patients presenting with foot and ankle pain would have similar measured ankle range of motion in both ankles despite having unilateral foot and ankle symptoms. METHODS: Institutional review board approval was obtained and a prospective case-control study was performed. We utilized a previously validated device to measure ankle range motion and isolated gastrocnemius contracture in 21 patients diagnosed with foot and ankle pathology. Measurements were repeated three times on each side with the knee extended to isolate the effect of the gastrocnemius muscle. We additionally performed a clinical examination and goniometer measurement of ankle range of motion. Patient history and demographics were also obtained. RESULTS: Mean dorsiflexion was 12.1 degrees in the extremity with foot and ankle pathology compared to a mean of 15.4 degrees in the unaffected limb, which was a statistically significant difference, (p0.05). The difference in dorsiflexion was significantly less utilizing a goniometer than using the validated device, which may be due to measurement technique and external landmarks, (p



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