Development and Reliability of a Measurement Device for Flexion Force of the First Metatarsophalangeal Joint

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 University Hospital Zurich
  • 2 Catholic University Leuven
  • 3 University Hospital Leuven
  • 4 Polytechnic of Utrecht
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The purpose of this study was to present a method for repeated measurement of flexion force of the hallux in the metatarsophalangeal joint. The reliability of this measurement device was also examined. This device is suitable for situations where weight-bearing is contraindicated or when it is not possible for patients to bear load on their toes, such as hallux valgus patients. Since most such patients are female, the participants in this study were 24 healthy female volunteers. Age, weight, height, and leg dominance were determined for each. Muscle strength was measured using a device with a built-in MicroFET dynamometer. The result for the left hallux was ICC(3,1) .89 (95% CI .77–.95). The result for the right hallux was ICC(3,1) .94 (95% CI .87–.97). In the Bland and Altman plots, the reliability again appeared to be sufficient. The Pearson product-moment correlations gave poor results for the association between body weight, height, age, and mean force of the four trails. The test results indicate good reliability of the measurement device as used in this study. The advantage of this testing device is that it makes it easier to standardize measurements as opposed to the MicroFET used as a hand-held dynamometer. Also, patients can be tested in a nonload situation, which makes it possible to test hallux valgus at any time, and therefore it is possible to monitor variations in progression (or regression).

Dept. of Rheumatology and Institute of Physical Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Gloriastrasse 25, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland

Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium

Dept. of Physical Therapy, Polytechnic of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.