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October 2021

Man Ther. 1997 May; 2(2): 58-66.

Static biomechanical evaluation of the foot and lower limb: the podiatrist's perspective.

Lang LM, Volpe RG, Wernick J.

University of Brighton, Eastbourne, UK

SUMMARY. A biomechanical assessment is one aspect of podiatry. It involves two main modes of examination: dynamic and static. Aspects of the static mode are described with particular emphasis on the foot. The static mode includes both open and closed kinetic chain examinations. Each part of the lower extremity is evaluated with reference to the planes of the body. In open chain examination specific techniques have been developed to evaluate the quality and range of motion of the foot joints. The foot is held in a standardised position which simulates the midstance period of the gait cycle. The position and function of the subtalar joint is considered particularly influential in the foot. For this reason the method of manipulating the patient's subtalar joint into the 'neutral position' is important. In closed chain examination, posture is evaluated in both 'relaxed' and 'neural' stance positions. Dynamic and static biomechanical examination data has to be interpreted with reference to the primary complaint and a full medical history, together with specific information concerning footwear and the habitual locomotor functional needs of the patient. Copyright 1997 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

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