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Blood flow is essential in maintaining tissue health. Thus, compromised blood flow can prevent tissue healing. An adducted hallux, as seen inside a narrow shoe, may put passive tension on the abductor hallucis, compressing the lateral plantar artery into the calcaneus and restricting blood flow. The purposes of this study were to compare lateral plantar artery blood flow before and after passive hallux adduction and to compare blood flow with arch height.
Forty-five healthy volunteers (20 female, 25 male; age = 24.8 ± 6.8 yr; height = 1.7 ± 0.1 m; weight = 73.4 ± 13.5 kg) participated in this cross-over design study. Arch height index (AHI) was calculated, and blood flow measurements were obtained using ultrasound (L8-18i transducer, GE Logiq S8). The lateral plantar artery was imaged deep to abductor hallucis for 120 s: 60 s at rest, then 60 s of passive hallux adduction. Maximal passive hallux adduction was performed by applying pressure to the medial side of the hallux. Blood flow was calculated in mL/min, and pre-passive hallux adduction was compared to blood flow during passive hallux adduction.
Log transformed data was used to run a paired t-test between the preadduction and postadduction blood flow. The volume of blood flow was 22.2% lower after passive hallux adduction compared to before (− 0.250 ± 0.063, p < 0.001). As AHI decreased, there was a greater negative change in blood flow. As baseline blood flow increased, there was also a greater negative change in blood flow.
Our preliminary findings of decreased blood flow through passive hallux adduction indicate conditions that elicit passive hallux adduction (e.g. wearing narrow-toed shoes) may have important effects on foot blood flow. Individuals with lower AHI appear to have a greater risk of decreased blood flow with passive hallux adduction.
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- Passive hallux adduction decreases lateral plantar artery blood flow: a preliminary study of the potential influence of narrow toe box shoes
Julia L. Jacobs
Sarah T. Ridge
Dustin A. Bruening
K. Annie Brewerton
Jayson R. Gifford
Daniel M. Hoopes
A. Wayne Johnson
- BioMed Central