Rocker Soles and Intermittent Claudication
Despite previous thoughts that rocker soled shoes can help patients with intermittent claudication, a new study published in Gait and Posture is now suggesting that this is not the case.
In this research, 31 patients with intermittent claudication (IC) were analysed while walking in rocker-soled shoes compared to control flat shoes. Gait parameters were compared at 3 intervals of pain-free walking; at onset of IC pain, and when the IC intensified and when it prevented them from walking any further.
The results showed that while rocker shoes reduced ankle power generation and altered kinematics at the hip, knee and ankle, this did not translate to any increases in “initial or actual claudication distances.”
The authors concluded “the three-curved rocker shoes, in their current design, do not augment gait sufficiently to enhance walking distance, when compared with control shoes, and therefore cannot be recommended for the intermittent claudication population.”
Foot Orthoses Help HAV: New Study
New research published in The Journal of Orthopaedic Science has found that the use of foot orthoses “decreased pain in patients with hallux valgus” and “the effect of treatment was maintained up to 2 years with a relatively high degree of patient satisfaction”.
The Japanese study prospectively analysed 53 patients with HAVs who had received foot orthoses from an orthotist using a “standardised method”. Pain and quality of life were recorded at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. X-rays, patient satisfaction and compliance were also monitored.
Results showed that the visual analogue score significantly decreased over time with 12 months being the optimum period for wearing the orthoses and the treatment effect maintaining for 24 months. However, no changes were observed in the hallux valgus angle and intermetatarsal angle over the 24 months.
Is Foot Surgery Better in the Winter?
An interesting piece of research published in The Foot is suggesting that having foot surgery in the summer months increases the risk of complications.
The study highlights that “Surgical site infections (SSI) in orthopaedic surgery are common nosocomial complications that contribute significantly to patient morbidity and increased healthcare costs”. Whilst previous research has suggested that these SSIs are more common in the summer months for spinal surgery, there was no data to ascertain whether this was the case for foot and ankle surgery.
A retrospective analysis of 17,939 foot or ankle surgery patients was carried out. Results showed “the overall rate of surgical complications was 2.3%. The highest incidence of surgical complications was during the summer at 2.7% and the lowest was during the fall at 2.1%.” In addition, there was also a higher rate of medical complications documented in the summer months. However, statistical analysis suggested that while the rates were higher in the summer, they were not significant.