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Ankle Joint Range of Motion Measurements

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by yodanyc, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. yodanyc

    yodanyc Welcome New Poster

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    Are there any validated studies for ankle joint range of motion measurements?

  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    What do you mean by "validated"?
  3. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

  4. yodanyc

    yodanyc Welcome New Poster


    I am assembling a research protocol, and part of the project is to measure ankle joint dorsiflexion. I have looked for, but cannot find, a standardized protocol for this measurement, one that has been tested for reliability and repeatability. I need an assessment tool to measure before:after intervention. Thanks!
  5. yodanyc

    yodanyc Welcome New Poster

    I am checking out the references, thanks!
  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Use the lunge test.
  7. The standard lunge test only assesses ankle joint dorsiflexion stiffness with the knee flexed, not with the knee extended, so it is not a proper test by which to assess the contribution of the gastrocnemius muscle to ankle joint dorsilflexion stiffness which is critical especially to the biomechanics of walking activities.
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    But its the only ankle ROM test that has been validated (ie predicts injury) and has been shown to be reliable as a measurement.
  9. My guess is that the standard lunge test, even though it may have been shown to predict injury in running athletes, would not be able to predict injuries in walking activities due to the far larger role of the gastrocnemius muscle at limiting ankle joint dorsiflexion in walking. By the way, here in the States, a very common procedure done for equinus deformity is a gastrocnemius recession surgery, where only the gastrocnemius muscle is transected to increase ankle joint dorsiflexion. The standard lunge test would likely show no difference pre and post-op gastrocnemius recession. This is definitely something I would strongly consider before I gave a lecture or wrote a paper about ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion tests.
  10. yodanyc

    yodanyc Welcome New Poster

    Totally agree - thank you for drawing attention to it. The direction of this inquiry and for the purpose of the project the influence of the gastrocnemius can be disregarded.
  11. Body mass is validated and predictive of injury. But its nothing to do with a straight leg ankle ROM. Lunge test is validated and predictive of injury. Also nothing to do with a straight leg ankle ROM test.

    Well, I say nothing. Obviously something. But its not the same test.
  12. How many studies have shown the lunge test is "predictive of injury"?

    What activities did these injuries occur in, running or walking?

    What types of injuries was it predictive of?

    Does this test assess gastrocnemius tightness, which is, by far, a more commonly accepted factor within the podiatric and orthopedic communities as being causative of foot and lower extremity injury and deformity?

    Before we all jump on the bandwagon for the lunge test as being the "best test" to perform for assessing ankle joint dorsiflexion in all individuals, we must first critically analyze what its limitations may be for assessing the biomechanics of the foot and lower extremity, especially in non-running individuals.
  13. Graham

    Graham RIP

    i believe Craig may have the answer to this. I "believe" this is a very useful test. Far more useful than cart blanche Rx orthotics to asymptomatic children with "flat Feet"!!
  14. Graham:

    I believe the lunge test is also useful.

    As far as "cart blanche Rx orthotics to asyptomatic children with "flat feet", that is not something I do, or have ever done. But if you want to believe that is what I do or have done, since you haven't closely read what I have written before on the subject, then it is certainly your right to be wrong....again.:drinks
  15. maybe look in some of these thread - mobilization and increase ROM at the ankle - there has been some papers which show increased ROM after Mobs so check out the methods section in some of the papers listed may help- http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/tags/index.php?tag=/manipulation/
  16. Fiona Hawke

    Fiona Hawke Member

    Dear all,

    Here are two references for the inter and intra rater reliability of measuring ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion. The first uses a flexed knee technique and the second uses an extended knee technique.

    Bennell, K., et al., Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of a weight-bearing lunge measure of ankle dorsiflexion. Australian Physiotherapy, 1998. 44(3): p. 175-180.

    Munteanu, S., et al., A weightbearing technique for the measurement of ankle joint dorsiflexion with the knee extended is reliable. Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, 2009. 12(1): p. 54-9.

    I hope these are of some use.

    Kind regards,


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