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01-12-2021 | Research | Uitgave 1/2021 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2021

Differences in toe flexor strength and foot morphology between wheelchair dependent and ambulant older people in long-term care: a cross-sectional study

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2021
Auteurs:
Mieko Yokozuka, Sei Sato
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Abstract

Background

Hallux valgus, lesser toe deformity, and muscle weakness of the toe flexors contribute to falls in older people. This study aimed to examine the differences in toe flexor strength and foot morphology in older people requiring long-term care due to changes in the way they mobilize in everyday life.

Methods

This study included 84 people aged ≥70 years without motor paralysis who underwent rehabilitation. They were divided into those who could mobilize without a wheelchair (walking group, n = 54) and those who used a wheelchair to mobilize (wheelchair group, n = 30). The presence or absence of diseases was confirmed, and hand grip strength, toe flexor strength, and foot morphology using the foot printer were measured. The presence of diseases, hand grip strength, toe flexor strength, and foot morphology were compared between the two groups. Multiple logistic analysis was performed with wheelchair dependence as the dichotomous outcome variable, and the percentages of each strength measure observed in the wheelchair group to the average hand grip and toe flexor strength measures in the walking group were compared.

Results

No significant between-group difference in foot morphology was found. The factors related to the differences in ways of ambulating in daily life were history of fracture, heart disease, and toe flexor strength. After comparing the muscle strength of the wheelchair group with the mean values of the walking group, we found that the toe flexor strength was significantly lower than the hand grip strength.

Conclusions

Older people who used a wheelchair to mobilize have significantly less toe flexor strength than those who do not despite no significant difference in foot morphology. Use of a wheelchair is associated with a reduction in toe flexor strength.

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