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This article is part of the supplement: 3rd Congress of the International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics Community

Open Access Open Badges Keynote speaker presentation

Biomechanics of the ageing foot and ankle

Hylton B Menz

Author Affiliations

Musculoskeletal Research Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2012, 5(Suppl 1):K3  doi:10.1186/1757-1146-5-S1-K3

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:10 April 2012

© 2012 Menz; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keynote speaker presentation

Foot pain affects up to 24% of people aged over 65 years, and is associated with difficulty undertaking activities of daily living, problems with balance and gait, an increased risk of falls, and reduced health-related quality of life. Established risk factors for foot pain in this age-group include female sex, obesity and chronic medical conditions such as osteoarthritis and diabetes. However, given the significant age-related changes in the structure and function of osseous, muscular and soft tissues in the foot, the contribution of lower limb biomechanical factors to the development of foot pain in older people is receiving increased attention in the research literature. This presentation will provide an overview of (i) the epidemiology of foot disorders in older people, (ii) the physiological changes that occur in the ageing foot, (iii) the role of biomechanics in understanding the potential mechanisms underlying the development of foot pain, and (iv) the role of plantar pressure analysis for the assessment and management of foot pain in this age-group.