THE INFLUENCE OF VISCO-ELASTIC INSOLES ON GROUND REACTION FORCES DISPLAYED BY ACHILLES TENDONITIS PATIENTS

  • Raoul Saggine
  • S. Zappacosta
  • R. G. Bellomo
  • M. Gentili
  • B. Salusti
  • L. Vecchiet
Keywords: gait analysis, ground-reaction force, foot biomechanics, tendon physiopathology, soft orthosis

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: In our paper we describe the results obtained by quantifying the ground reaction forces with a Kistler force platform of 19 adults affected by achilles tendonitis, before during and after treatment with personalized viscoelastic insoles. Our goal was to quantify the functional deficit determined by that pathology, and quantify the recovery of normal function by treatment with personalized visco-elastic insoles. METHODS: We considered 19 adults athletes (runners) who got achilles tendonitis, to be put in causal relation with their sport activity; they were males and female, 19-63 aged (35 y.o in mean). They all made gait analysis, and the time evolution of the 3 components of ground reaction force was compared with 'normal' ones, so defined in the article by Chao and al. (1983) for healthy female and male adults, that matched with our patients for age, gender and gait velocity. From this comparison we found out some characteristics of the ground reaction of subjects affected by Achilles tendonitis, particularly for what is about the vertical and the antero-posterior components, that are related to the exercise of force on the ground in the first and the last moment of stance, and that for our patients resulted depressed than the normal data. After this first gait analysis the subjects were treated only with personalized visco-elastic insoles, for a mean period of 12 weeks (8 weeks - 6 months), to 'normalize' the foot-ground interaction during stance phase; the gait analysis was repeated at about the mean time of the treatment, and 18 months in mean (12 - 24 months) after his end. RESULTS: This treatment determined not only full remission of symptoms, but a recovery of good functionality of affected lower limbs, as we could verify by repeating gait analysis in the mean time of the treatment, and after 18 months in mean from his end, and performin a statistical elaboration of the data with the Student 't' test. We found that during the treatment functionality improves gradually, and after his end it remaines good, so that visco-elastic insoles resulted effective in avoiding relapses of pathology.