The effect of different depths of medial heel skive on plantar pressures
1 Department of Podiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic, 3086, Australia
2 Musculoskeletal Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic, 3086, Australia
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2012, 5:20 doi:10.1186/1757-1146-5-20Published: 13 August 2012
Foot orthoses are often used to treat lower limb injuries associated with excessive pronation. There are many orthotic modifications available for this purpose, with one being the medial heel skive. However, empirical evidence for the mechanical effects of the medial heel skive modification is limited. This study aimed to evaluate the effect that different depths of medial heel skive have on plantar pressures.
Thirty healthy adults (mean age 24 years, range 18–46) with a flat-arched or pronated foot posture and no current foot pain or deformity participated in this study. Using the in-shoe pedar-X® system, plantar pressure data were collected for the rearfoot, midfoot and forefoot while participants walked along an 8 metre walkway wearing a standardised shoe. Experimental conditions included a customised foot orthosis with the following 4 orthotic modifications: (i) no medial heel skive, (ii) a 2 mm medial heel skive, (iii) a 4 mm medial heel skive and (iv) a 6 mm medial heel skive.
Compared to the foot orthosis with no medial heel skive, statistically significant increases in peak pressure were observed at the medial rearfoot – there was a 15% increase (p = 0.001) with the 4 mm skive and a 29% increase (p < 0.001) with the 6 mm skive. No significant change was observed with the 2 mm medial heel skive. With respect to the midfoot and forefoot, there were no significant differences between the orthoses.
This study found that a medial heel skive of 4 mm or 6 mm increases peak pressure under the medial rearfoot in asymptomatic adults with a flat-arched or pronated foot posture. Plantar pressures at the midfoot and forefoot were not altered by a medial heel skive of 2, 4 or 6 mm. These findings provide some evidence for the effects of the medial heel skive orthotic modification.