Effect of Full-Length Carbon Fiber Insoles on Lower Limb Kinetics in Patients With Midfoot Osteoarthritis: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Objectives

We investigated the effects of full-length carbon fiber (FCF) insoles on gait, muscle activity, kinetics, and pain in patients with midfoot osteoarthritis (OA).

Design

We enrolled 13 patients with unilateral midfoot OA (mild: Visual Analog Scale [VAS] range, 1–3; moderate, VAS range, 4–7) and healthy controls. All participants were asked to walk under two conditions: with and without FCF insole. The outcome measures were ground reaction force, quantitative gait parameters, electromyography activities and pain severity (VAS).

Results

In the patients with moderate midfoot OA, significantly longer gait cycle and higher muscle activity of lower limb during loading-response phase were observed while walking without FCF insoles. In the mild midfoot OA group, there was no significant difference in VAS score (without, 2.0 ± 1.0 vs. with, 2.0 ± 0.5) with FCF insole use. However, significantly reduced VAS score (without, 5.5 ± 1.4 vs. with, 2.0 ± 0.5) and muscle activity of the tibialis anterior and increased muscle activity of gastrocnemius were observed in the moderate midfoot OA group by using an FCF insole (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Full-length carbon fiber insoles can improve pain in individuals with moderate midfoot OA, which might be associated with changes in the kinetics and muscle activities of the lower limb. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that FCF insoles may be used as a helpful option for midfoot OA.

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