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  • Author: Mark A. Feger x
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John Goetschius, Mark A. Feger, Jay Hertel and Joseph M. Hart

Context: Measurements of center-of-pressure (COP) excursions during balance are common practice in clinical and research settings to evaluate adaptations in postural control due to pathological or environmental conditions. Traditionally measured using laboratory force plates, pressure-mat devices may be a suitable option for clinicians and scientist to measure COP excursions. Objective: Compare COP measures and changes during balance between MatScan® pressure mat and force plate. Design: Validation study. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 30 healthy, young adults (19 female, 11 male, 22.7 ± 3.4 y, 70.3 ± SD kg, 1.71 ± 0.09 m). Main Outcomes: COP excursions were simultaneously measured using pressure-mat and force-plate devices. Participants completed 3 eyes-open and 3 eyes-closed single-leg balance trials (10 s). Mean of the 3 trials was used to calculate 4 COP variables: medial-lateral and anterior-posterior excursion, total distance, and area with eyes open and eyes closed. Percent change and effect sizes were calculated between eyes-open to eyes-closed conditions for each variable and for both devices. Results: All COP variables were highly correlated between devices for eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions (all r > .92, P < .001). Bland-Altman plots suggest the pressure-mat COP measurements were smaller than those of the force-plate, and the differences between devices appeared to increase as the measurement magnitude increased. Percent change in COP variables was highly correlated between devices (r > .85, P < .001). Cohen d effect sizes between eyes-open and eyes-closed were all large (d > 2.25) and similar in magnitude between devices. Conclusion: COP measures were correlated between devices, but values tended to be smaller using the pressure mat. The pressure mat and force plate detected comparable magnitude changes in COP measurements between eyes-open and eyes-closed. Pressure mats may provide a viable option for detecting large magnitude changes in postural control during short-duration testing.

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Mark A. Feger, Luke Donovan, C. Collin Herb, Geoffrey G. Handsfield, Silvia S. Blemker, Joseph M. Hart, Susan A. Saliba, Mark F. Abel, Joseph S. Park and Jay Hertel

Context: Patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) have demonstrated atrophy of foot and ankle musculature and deficits in ankle strength. The effect of rehabilitation on muscle morphology and ankle strength has not previously been investigated in patients with CAI. Objective: Our objective was to analyze the effect of impairment-based rehabilitation on intrinsic and extrinsic foot and ankle muscle volumes and strength in patients with CAI. Design: Controlled laboratory study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients: Five young adults with CAI. Intervention: Twelve sessions of supervised impairment-based rehabilitation that included range of motion, strength, balance, and functional exercises. Main Outcome Measures: Measures of extrinsic and intrinsic foot muscle volume and ankle strength measured before and after 4 weeks of supervised rehabilitation. Novel fast-acquisition magnetic resonance imaging was used to scan from above the femoral condyles through the entire foot. The perimeter of each muscle was outlined on each axial slice and then the 2-dimensional area was multiplied by the slice thickness (5 mm) to calculate muscle volume. Plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, and eversion isometric strength were measured using a hand-held dynamometer. Results: Rehabilitation resulted in hypertrophy of all extrinsic foot muscles except for the flexor hallucis longus and peroneals. Large improvements were seen in inversion, eversion, and plantar flexion strength following rehabilitation. Effect sizes for significant differences following rehabilitation were all large and ranged from 1.54 to 3.35. No significant differences were identified for intrinsic foot muscle volumes. Conclusion: Preliminary results suggest that impairment-based rehabilitation for CAI can induce hypertrophy of extrinsic foot and ankle musculature with corresponding increases in ankle strength.