The article ‘Effects of idiopathic flatfoot deformity on knee adduction moments during walking’ by the authors Kimberly Byrnes, Scott Wearing, Harald Böhm, Chakravarthy Dussa and Thomas Horstmann was published in the Journal "Gait & Posture": https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.12.021
Flatfoot deformity is commonly characterized by a subtalar valgus, a low medial longitudinal arch, and abduction of the forefoot. Although flatfoot deformity has been associated with lower first (KAM1) and second (KAM2) peak knee adduction moments during walking, the biomechanical connection remains unknown.
We hypothesized that hindfoot eversion, lateral calcaneal shift correlate with KAM1 and forefoot abduction and arch height with KAM2, due to the lateralization of the ground reaction force vector resulting from shifted heel and forefoot in flatfoot deformity.
Gait data from 103 children with flatfoot deformity who underwent three-dimensional gait analysis with the Oxford Foot Model were retrospectively included. Children with knee varus/valgus, in- and out-toeing were excluded. Fifteen healthy children with a rectus foot type were also collected from the database. Lateral calcaneal shift was defined as the distance between the projection of the ankle joint center onto the calcaneal axis and the midpoint of the calcaneal axis formed by the medial and lateral calcaneal markers. A subgroup of children with idiopathic flatfoot deformity that had received corrective surgery was also identified. Statistical analysis included Pearson’s correlations and independent and paired t-tests (α < .05).
When compared to a norm cohort, flatfooted children had significant lower KAM1 and KAM2 (t-test, P < .001). Lateral calcaneal shift correlated with KAM1 and KAM2 (r = 0.42, p < .001 and r = 0.32, P < .001, respectively). Arch height correlated with KAM2 (r = 0.23, p = 0.017). KAM1 and KAM2 normalized after surgery and the change in KAM1 correlated with the change in lateral calcaneal shift for children who underwent corrective surgery.
Lateral calcaneal shift explains the reduction of KAM1 by lateralization of the point of force application in flatfooted children. It is recommended to consider the lateral calcaneal shift when investigating KAM in gait analysis research.