Weight bearing of the foot during ultrasound assessment: the added value

The results of the study done by Franettovich-Smith et al. (2018), with regards to ultrasound measurements of the intrinsic foot muscles (IFMs), highlight that:
  • Ultrasound image measurement of foot muscles is feasible in weight bearing.
  • Measurements are highly reliable between operators and test sessions. 
  • Changes in morphology of 10-18% exceed measurement error (minimal detectable change).
  • Consider participant characteristics when comparing between individuals. 

IFMs are important contributors to optimal foot function: stability, shock absorption and force transmission during functional activities. IFMs both originate and insert in the foot and have the anatomical configuration to provide active support particularly the medial longitudinal arch. Individuals with and without chronic plantar heel pain, hallux valgus, chronic ankle instability and diabetes showed in previous research differences in IFMs morphology.