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Assessment of the effect of a total contact cast on lower limb kinematics and joint loading

Theodorakos, Ilias, HEALY, Aoife, CHATZISTERGOS, Panagiotis, Andersen, Michael Skipper and CHOCKALINGAM, Nachiappan (2022) Assessment of the effect of a total contact cast on lower limb kinematics and joint loading. Gait and Posture, 98. pp. 203-209. ISSN 0966-6362

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Abstract or description

Background
Total contact casts (TCCs) are used to immobilize and unload the foot and ankle for the rehabilitation of ankle fractures and for the management of diabetic foot complications. The kinematic restrictions imposed by TCCs to the foot and ankle also change knee and hip kinematics, however, these changes have not been quantified before. High joint loading is associated with discomfort and increased risk for injuries. To assess joint loading, the effect of the muscle forces acting on each joint must also be considered. This challenge can be overcome with the help of musculoskeletal modelling.

Research question
How does a TCC affect lower extremity joint loading?

Methods
Twelve healthy participants performed gait trials with and without a TCC. Kinematic and kinetic recordings served as input to subject-specific musculoskeletal models that enabled the computation of joint angles and loading. Cast-leg interaction was modelled by means of reaction forces between a rigid, zero-mass cast segment and the segments of the lower extremity.

Results
and Significance: Reduced ankle, knee and hip range of motion was observed for the TCC condition. Statistical parametric mapping indicated decreased hip abduction and flexion moments during initial contact with the TCC. The anterior knee force was significantly decreased during the mid and terminal stance and the second peak of the compressive knee force was significantly reduced for the TCC. As expected, the TCC resulted in significantly reduced ankle loading.

Significance
This study is the first to quantify the effect of a TCC on lower limb joint loading. Its results demonstrate the efficiency of a TCC in unloading the ankle joint complex without increasing the peak loads on knee and hip. Future studies should investigate whether the observed knee and hip kinematic and kinetic differences could lead to discomfort.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Total contact cast; Lower limb; Gait analysis; Musculoskeletal modelling; Ankle; Foot
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Aoife HEALY
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 09:45
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2022 04:30
URI: https://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/7459

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