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Wataru Kawakami, Makoto Takahashi, Yoshitaka Iwamoto and Koichi Shinakoda

An important step in the management of hallux valgus is the objective analysis of foot mechanics in dynamic conditions. However, the manner in which hallux valgus affects the foot motion is poorly understood. Moreover, hallux valgus deformity may affect foot intersegmental coordination patterns. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative motion and intersegmental foot coordination patterns, considering the midfoot, during gait in individuals with hallux valgus. Fifteen females with hallux valgus and 13 females without hallux valgus were recruited in this study. Three-dimensional positional data during gait were collected using a motion capture system and analyzed using a multisegment foot model and an analysis software. Intersegmental foot coordination patterns were assessed using a modified vector-coding technique. In individuals with hallux valgus, the rearfoot was significantly more everted throughout stance, and forefoot motion during late stance was significantly increased. In intersegmental coordination patterns, individuals with hallux valgus exhibited excessive mobility of the rearfoot relative to the midfoot segment during midstance and increased antiphase motion between rearfoot and midfoot segments during late stance. Excessive rearfoot eversion and altered intersegmental coordination patterns between rearfoot and midfoot may decrease the proper rigidity of the foot and lead to forefoot hypermobility during late stance in individuals with hallux valgus.

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Susumu Yahagi, Zhen Ni, Makoto Takahashi, Yusaku Takeda, Toshio Tsuji and Tatsuya Kasai

Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), differences in the excitability changes of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) between isometric (force task) and isotonic (movement task) muscle contractions in a distal (first dorsal interosseous; FDI) and a proximal (middle deltoid; MD) muscle were studied. In the FDI muscle, the active threshold of MEP recruitment was significantly lower in the isotonic than that in the isometric muscle contraction in spite of identical background EMG activity levels. Additionally, the dependence of the MEP amplitude on background EMG activity was significantly greater in the isotonic than in the isometric muscle contraction at low EMG activity levels, but the difference disappeared beyond middle EMG activity levels. In the MD muscle, the dependence of the MEP amplitude on background EMG activity was significantly greater in the isotonic than in the isometric muscle contraction, and further this dependence was kept at all muscle contraction levels. These results indicate that the dependence of the MEP amplitude on background EMG activity is modulated not only by the different muscle contraction modes (isotonic and isometric), but also by muscle properties (distal and proximal). Thus, the present findings suggest that the task-specific extra excitation in the proximal muscle is definitely produced corresponding to task differences (task-dependent subliminal fringe), which might be explained by the predominant frequency principle if applied to the proximal muscle. On the other hand, the lack of task-dependent extra excitation in the distal muscle is explained by the predominant recruitment principle for force grading in small hand muscles.