This study investigates the association between foot type as measured by the Foot Posture Index (FPI), ankle equinus and body mass index (BMI) and the presence of intermetatarsal neuroma (IMN).
As a case-control study, subjects were recruited from patients attending The University of Western Australia (UWA) Podiatry Clinic.
The inclusion criteria for IMN subjects included a minimum of 6-month history of pain in an affected interspace and a clinically demonstrated positive painful Mulder’s click and a positive ultrasound confirmatory diagnosis of neuroma in the affected interspace.
Subjects’ ages, weights and heights were recorded, and their BMIs calculated.
The FPI was measured according to the FPI User Guide Manual. Ankle dorsiflexion was measured for each subject with a goniometer using the technique described by Root et al.
Chi-square tests were used to determine whether there was any association between the interspace(s) and the foot (feet) affected in IMN subjects, and whether the proportions of males and females with ankle dorsiflexion of less than 10° differed.
The results showed no association between foot posture and IMN formation.
Therefore, the belief that IMN would more commonly occur in the third interspace in a more pronated foot as a result of hypermobility of the lateral column relative to the medial column cannot be supported by these findings.
Furthermore, even though the second interspace was the most frequently affected site, cavus foot posture was not associated with formation of IMN in the second interspace.
There was no significant difference in mean BMI between IMN and control groups.
A strong association was demonstrated between the presence of IMN and a restriction of ankle dorsiflexion.
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