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FitFlops and Achilles tendonopathy: A link?

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by kaj86, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. kaj86

    kaj86 Welcome New Poster

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    Dear all,

    I have a question to ask you all as this is the only case I have come across; however, I know collective experience is far superior to isolated insidence.

    A patient of mine has been wearing FitFlops as a primary footwear choice for approx 5 years after a spinal injury and sciatica has left her with extremely sensitive and painful feet and legs. She finds wearing "normal" shoes to be uncomfortable. FitFlops were a bit of a godsend to her. Recently, however, she has been progressively developing Achillles tendonopathy bilaterally.

    I am wondering if anyone else has experienced the same pathology with links to a history of this type of footwear use?

    Any input would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thank you!:confused:
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  2. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Not seen this link personally.

    Could it maybe be that as Fitflops were much more comfortable --> able to walk a lot more --> increased tissue load --> tendinopathy?

    Are there any other recent triggers/mechanisms? Wearing a shoe for 5 years and then developing a pathology "recently" doesn't immediately point the gun at the FitFlops for me.

    Just my thoughts.
  3. kaj86

    kaj86 Welcome New Poster

    Fell and #L/5th metatarsal shaft June 2013
    Menopause onset 4+ years
    Split lumbar disc with sciatica
    Sedentary job

    What am I missing?
  4. Greg Fyfe

    Greg Fyfe Active Member

    I wouldn't suspect the flipflops make a contribution either.
    More likely a change of activity e.g. moved to an upstairs flat, parking the car further from work, an episode of DIY standing on ladders.
    Possibly a change in the back pain situation resulting in a change in gait compensation.
    Or the development of an inflammatory medical problem affecting tendons/ connective tissue
    Or perhaps changes in medication to manage the back pain.

    Just a few thoughts


  5. N.Knight

    N.Knight Active Member

    I think go back and look at what Ian said and think about Dr Spooner's the zone of optimum stress (ZOOS)

    So if you think the patient is walking more as the rocker sole helps this, they are increasing the load through the Achilles and resulted in working out side the ZOOS thus resulting in the Tendinopathy.

    What we do not know is where the in the zone the patients is on day to day walking, if they naturally operate towards the end then just a simple trip off a curb can set the pain going or even a couple of extra walks.

    The question I don't know is once we operate outside our ZOOS, does our ZOOS reduce so even day to walking aggravates the pain, hence why we see patients who do not get better as they continue to walk, even though there injury was done running. Then once treated does our ZOOs return back to our normal (providing there has been no rupture or reaching failure point?) Or is there a limit in how much plastic deformation a tendon can cope with before been unable to return back to it’s normal state.

    I am sure Simon and Co can explain this in a better way than myself.

  6. Reyeswlr

    Reyeswlr Welcome New Poster

    I stared wearing fitflops about three years ago. I had never had an Achilles problem. I just finished wearing a boot and enduring a month of physical therapy to relieve the pain in my heel. I do not know if the fitflops were this issue but find this very interesting. I have not worn them since my injury. WNted to buy some new ones but thought I would do a search to find out if anyone, other team me, had this issue. I love these sandals but think I will try sandals with a back strap.

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