Plantar loading during cutting while wearing a rigid carbon fiber insert.
CONTEXT: Stress fractures are one of the most common injuries in sports, accounting for approximately 10% of all overuse injuries. Treatment of fifth metatarsal stress fractures involves both surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Fifth metatarsal stress fractures are difficult to treat because of the risks of delayed union, nonunion, and recurrent injuries. Most of these injuries occur during agility tasks, such as those performed in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of a rigid carbon graphite footplate on plantar loading during 2 agility tasks. DESIGN: Crossover study. SETTING: Laboratory. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A total of 19 recreational male athletes with no history of lower extremity injury in the past 6 months and no previous metatarsal stress fractures were tested. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Seven 45° side-cut and crossover-cut tasks were completed in a shoe with or without a full-length rigid carbon plate. Testing order between the shoe conditions and the 2 cutting tasks was randomized. Plantar-loading data were recorded using instrumented insoles. Peak pressure, maximum force, force-time integral, and contact area beneath the total foot, the medial and lateral midfoot, and the medial, middle, and lateral forefoot were analyzed. A series of paired t tests was used to examine differences between the footwear conditions (carbon graphite footplate, shod) for both cutting tasks independently (α = .05). RESULTS: During the side-cut task, the footplate increased total foot and lateral midfoot peak pressures while decreasing contact area and lateral midfoot force-time integral. During the crossover-cut task, the footplate increased total foot and lateral midfoot peak pressure and lateral forefoot force-time integral while decreasing total and lateral forefoot contact area. CONCLUSIONS: Although a rigid carbon graphite footplate altered some aspects of the plantar-pressure profile during cutting in uninjured participants, it was ineffective in reducing plantar loading beneath the fifth metatarsal.
Queen, RM; Abbey, AN; Verma, R; Butler, RJ; Nunley, JA
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