The toe flexor muscles maintain body balance during standing and provide push-off force during walking, running, and jumping. Additionally, they are important contributing structures to maintain normal foot function. Thus, weakness of these muscles may cause poor balance, inefficient locomotion and foot deformities. The quantification of metatarsophalangeal joint (MPJ) stiffness is valuable as it is considered as a confounding factor in toe flexor muscles function. MPJ and ankle joint stiffness measurement is still largely depended on manual skills as current devices do not have good control on alignment, angular joint speed and displacement during measurement. Therefore, this study introduces an innovative dynamometer and protocol procedures for MPJ and ankle Joint torque measurement with precise and reliable foot alignment, angular joint speed and displacement control. Within-day and between-day test-retest experiments on MPJ and ankle joint torque measurement were conducted on ten and nine healthy male subjects respectively. The mean peak torques of MPJ and ankle joint of between-day and within-day measurement were 1.50 ± 0.38 Nm/deg and 1.19 ± 0.34 Nm/deg. The corresponding torques of the ankle joint were 8.24 ± 2.20 Nm/deg and 7.90 ± 3.18 Nm/deg respectively. Intraclass-correlation coefficients (ICC) of averaged peak torque of both joints of between-day and within-day test-retest experiments were ranging from 0.91 to 0.96, indicating the innovative device is systematic and reliable for the measurements and can be used for multiple scientific and clinical purposes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine