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Abnormal biomechanics of the foot and ankle.


The biomechanics of the foot and ankle is important to the normal function of the lower extremity. The foot is the terminal joint in the lower kinetic chain that opposes external resistance. Proper arthrokinematic movement within the foot and ankle influences the ability of the lower limb to attenuate the forces of weightbearing. It is important for the lower extremity to distribute and dissipate compressive, tensile, shearing, and rotatory forces during the stance phase of gait. Inadequate distribution of these forces could lead to abnormal stress and eventual breakdown of connective tissue and muscle. Pathologies such as heel spurs, hallux valgus, neuromas, hallux limitus, shin splints, and nonspecific knee pain result from abnormal mechanics of the foot and ankle. The use of orthotics to re-establish the normal biomechanics of the foot and ankle have profound clinical applications. The combined effect of muscle, bone, ligaments, and normal biomechanics will result in the most efficient force attenuation in the lower limb. J Ortho Sports Phys Ther 1987;9(1):11-16.


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