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PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity Identified in A.Sediba which Lived 2 Million Years Ago

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Brian A. Rothbart, Mar 13, 2023.

  1. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

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    DeSilva et al (2013) documented calcaneal supinatus (which is the hallmark of the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity) in an Australopithecus sediba heel bone. At that time, in a Researchgate forum, I questioned whether calcaneal supinatus could be the “smoking gun” which would allow us to trace the hominid lineage from the Plio-Pleistocene epoch to present. And, at that time, I suggested that S.Sediba was our Pleistocene ancestor.

    Fast forward 10 years, Mongle et al (2023) have suggested that “A.sediba is plausibly the terminal end of a lineage that shared a common ancestor with the earliest representatives of Homo [sapien].”

    Why is this relevant to Podiatrists?

    If the calcaneus supinatus/H.sapien lineage proves factual, then it documents that the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity is a very old structure in the H.sapien lineage, one that is still very common in our present-day foot structure.

    • DeSilva JM, Holt KG, et al 2013. The Lower limb and mechanics of walking in Australopithecus sediba. Science, Vol 340.
    • Mongel C, Strait DS, Grine F 2023. An updated analysis of hominin phylogeny with an emphasis on re-evaluating the phylogenetic relationships of Australopithecus sediba. J.Human Evolution. 175:103311 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2022.103311.
  2. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    The PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity from An Anthropological Perspective - Ontogeny Phylogeny Evolution Model

    There is an old adage in genetics; “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” This means that the development of the individual mirrors the development of its species.

    Applying this idea to the human foot; it implies that the development of the human foot during gestation (pregnancy) is the same as the evolution of the human foot from its original ancestors to present time.

    From this, we can understand that the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity – which is the normal foot structure of a foetus during its fourth week of development, but abnormal if still present during its sixth week of development – was the normal foot structure in our original bipedal (upright walking) ancestors but is an abnormal foot structure when it appears in human beings today.

    I’ve termed this evolution model the ‘Ontogeny Phylogeny Evolution Model’ and have discussed it and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity with several anthropologists in the United States, England and South Africa. It will be interesting to see how they react to this simple, straightforward evolution model and ancient foot structure – both which are based on the natural laws of human embryology.
  3. efuller

    efuller MVP

    You'd think that if a condition were pathologic, it would be less likely to be passed on to ancestors. Perhaps the pre clinical clubfoot suffers the same problem as Root's very similar rearfoot varus. It is present in such a large percentage of the population that it couldn't possibly be predictive of pathology.
  4. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    I disagree. I believe that it is a foot structure that we are slowly evolving out of. Normal in A.sediba (a structure conducive for climbing trees), compromised in H.sapien (a structure not well suited for bipedal ambulation).
  5. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member


    It is certainly true that there is an old adage (to use your words) that "Ontogeny recaptiulates phylogeny". However, it has long been demonstrated to be woefully inadequate in describing embryology. Yes there are fascinating "glimpses" of our evolutionary past - such as why, purely by way of example, in our embryology the first ray angle gets bigger before it gets smaller (it demonstrates the formation of the primate divergent first ray as a part of becoming a primate, followed the removal of it, as we became a human primate). That ontogeny does not recapitulate phyogeny as an exact science is well known, and has been all my academic life (about 45 years).

    'You know what I suggest? Get yourself an embryology text, and read it, not just find a few catch phrases. My personal fave is The Late Bill Larsen's book. He actually used himself, with his wifes help, as a model for science as he was dying.
  6. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member


    Your suggestion is well taken and that is exactly what I have done over the past 55 years. My study and understanding of the embryological development of the foot, from what you have written, is probably better than yours (no offense intended).

    On Researchgate I have had this discussion on the relevancy of the ORP theory and, in my humble opinion, it is very relevant in understanding the aetiology of the PCFD. I have written several papers on this subject, all available on Researchgate, so I am not going to revisit this subject again on this forum.

    Over the past 15 years I have had discussions with several palaeontologists, again available on Researchgate, regarding the aetiology of the PCFD, calcaneal supinatus, and tracing the hominin lineage. The ORP was somewhat peripheral to that discussion, but still relevant.

    I understand that my research over the past 5 decades has expanded beyond the confines of most of my compeers. And I do understand that only posterity will determine the relevancy of my research.

    However, if you are of the bent to challenge my work, read one of the many publications I have made available on Researchgate and we will discuss it.
  7. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    We have all heard of researchgate and I respectfully suggest that you are hiding behind it. I would suggest that it would be really informative if you would publish on this site an academic CV: that is, a chronological list of your refereed publications. You brought up A. sediba; essentially, all academic publications on this and all other fossil assemblages essentially are to be found in one of three journals, The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, The Journal of Human Evolution and Homo (The Journal of Comparative Human Biology). Add to this in the "news" situation Science, and Nature. Since you reference this assemblage, I ask the pertinent question: where is your contribution to these journals?
  8. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    I am not hiding behind Researchgate, as you respectfully suggest. As you know, it is the forum where many of the leading researchers use to communicate with each other. Hence the best place to disseminate ones' research. Hence, I find no need to do so on this forum.

    The fact that calcaneal supinatus has been documented in the fossil record (from A.sediba), it piqued my interest, since this is the hallmark of the PCFD. But I do not wish to revisit that subject, since it has been discussed on many previous discussions.

    And by the way, one does not have to be a palaeontologist to have an interest in the subject nor read their publications. And, no, I have not published in these journals, but I have been cited.
  9. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Brian, why do you keep posting here if have no need to post on this forum?

    I checked your research on Researchgate and the only other foot "specialist" looking at your research was Dennis Shavelson. Enough said.

    Brian, If you do not want to revisit subject, DON'T POST. Your post is oxymoronic
  10. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    Obviously efuller, you are not conversant with the Forum Rules - the most appropriate one, based on your above post, is:

    Be Courteous!
    Don't attack others. Personal attacks on others will not be tolerated. Challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully ... without insult and personal attack.
    I suggest you read them and abide by them.

    Just food for thought.
  11. efuller

    efuller MVP

    What in what I said was a personal attack.
    Yes, follow the golden rule treat others as you would want to be treated. If I was being inconsistent, I would want that pointed out to me.
  12. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Brian, could you direct me towards any studies you have published, or even conversations you have been involved with, which focus on the embryological or post natal development of the musculature of the foot. The foot is not composed of bones only.

    As I am sure you will agree, you can't be any sort of leading authority on musculoskeletal pain if you know next to nothing about muscles .
  13. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

  14. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Like a fool I clicked on the link, but not even a mention of the word "muscle" .

    You should read up on the muscles of the foot ,I think ,and perhaps spend less time pondering 2 million year old fossils.
  15. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    My interest in the osseous (not muscular) embryological development of the foot is important in understanding the aetiology of the PCFD. Hence the title of paper I referred you to in Researchgate.

    Apparently, you feel muscle function is important in understanding foot kinetics. However, IMO (based on over 50 years of research), the structural aberrations in the PCFD is more relevant in understanding the resulting foot kinetics than muscular function. I can direct you to several of my publications that goes into this subject in great detail (e.g., function follows structure)

    Other than a paper I published in the early 1970s on muscle firing patterns, I have published no other papers on muscle function.

    As an "armchair" Palaeontologist, reading a paper that documented calcaneal supinatus in A.sediba struck my attention. I have expanded upon this in prior threads and see no reason to revisit that discussion again. So yes, I spend a great deal of time "pondering 2-million-year-old fossils" and most likely, will continue to do so.
  16. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Its not a question of picking out whether structural considerations ( osseous) or muscular factors are more important in foot function but about recognizing both matter. Neither should be ignored .

    I think I know how you will respond to this request but I will ask anyway . Please provide the abstract of your publication on muscle firing patterns below.
  17. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

  18. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Fair enough Brian, but not a lot on the muscles of the foot.
    Were you aware that muscles which are healthy give better proprioceptive feedback than muscles which are out of condition?

    Modern shoes decondition the toe flexor muscles in a big way .
  19. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    The preponderance of my research revolves around the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity and the Primus Metatarsus Supinatus foot deformity (aka Rothbarts Foot). My research does not extend into other foot deformations.

    Regarding these two-foot deformities, and only these two-foot deformities, IMO, muscle pathology is secondary to the osseous deformations that occur prenatally. Regarding other foot deformities, I offer no opinion regarding the role muscles play in the developing pathology.
  20. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    And I am awaiting, baited breath, to read your research in referred journals: do please provide your academic CV. We are all waiting to devour them.
  21. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    Recently I have linked gravity drive pronation to frontal plane deviation of the cranial bones. You can access that paper here. For your edification, to date, that paper has 563 reads and citations.

    I have quite baffled by your above comment because I am sure you are well aware where I have posted my C.V. And all my publications are available for downloading at Researchgate.

    By the way, do I detect a bit of sarcasm in your above response? If so, I respectfully suggest you read the Forum Rules.
  22. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    You recently said "Axial rotation of the talar head is the hallmark anatomical landmark in the Primus Metatarsus Supinatus foot deformity (aka Rothbarts Foot). In Europe this deformity is termed Progressive Collapsing Foot Deformity.

    So we know that "Rothbarts foot" is aka adult acquired flat foot or PCFD.

    Recent research has concluded that foot strengthening is the best way of treating foot pain from flat feet .

    Why, if research shows foot strengthening is more effective for treating "Rothbarts Foot" than orthotics, do you persist with orthotics alone ( an insole you have told us is functionally the same as a Morton's extension ) and seemingly ignore the best treatment available .

    Now that you have clearly defined what you meant by " Rothbart's foot ", and what your proprioceptive insoles actually are , functionally the same as a Morton's extension ( please correct me if that is not the case ), could you define what "preclinical club foot deformity" means in the adult foot ?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
  23. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    This is the same discussion I had with Janet Travel nearly 30 years ago. The Morton’s extension is not the same as the proprioceptive insole I designed:
    • The proprioceptive insole has a slope angle, vertically higher medially, lower laterally ending at the lateral edge of the 1st metatarsal. (See patent number US 6,212,723 B1) The Morton’s extension pad is a raised rectangular block, e.g., no slope angle.
    • The proprioceptive insole extends from midshaft of the internal cuneiform to the distal aspect of the hallux. The Morton’s extension pad is placed under the 1st metatarsal head and extended distally.
    I have done a great deal of research on the functionality of my proprioceptive insole, specifically on postural disturbances and their impact on chronic pain, but I have done no research on the functionality of the Morton's extension pad.

    RFS and the PCFD are not the same foot structure. I can direct you to publications that explain, in detail, the differences. But succinctly, the PCFD is characterized by the presence of both calcaneal supinatus and high talar head torsion angles. Whereas RFS is characterized by high talar head torsion angles only.

    RFS and PCFD are present at birth. They are not acquired and hence not synonymous with the term acquired flat foot.

    In dealing specifically with RFS or PCFD, foot strengthening exercises have at best, a transitory impact on treating the resulting foot pain. There has been no recent research, that I am aware of, that suggests otherwise. If I am mistaken, kindly direct me to that research.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
  24. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    You recently said you got almost exactly the same results using your orthotic design as another group of researchers got using a plain old Morton's extension .

    It's what you said .

    So your orthotics are functionally the same as a Mortons extension .

    But you said they were just a few days ago. See below. You said Rothbarts foot deformity was the same as Progessive flat foot deformity.

  25. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    Yes, in Europe they have their own terminology. They label PCFD as the PFFD.

    Again, I have done no research on the Morton's extension pad, so making a comparison in the functionality between the two is premature.

    You misunderstood me regarding the group of researchers using a "plain old Morton's extension". What I believe I wrote is that they used a generic proprioceptive insole that I designed twenty years ago. I do not use off the shelf generic proprioceptive insoles. I fabricate the insoles specifically for what is required. Each patient is different; hence each insole is different.
  26. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Please see above .You clearly stated that in Europe, Rothbart's foot " is termed Progressive Collapsing Foot Deformity."

    Since flat foot deformity responds best to strengthening exercises, that should be part of any treatment plan. I really don't see what your problem is with this .

    Nope you didn't say that and neither did they . They used an orthotic with a Morton's extension .Plain and simple .
  27. The duplicity of Brian Rothbart, no alarms and no surprises, he’s a charlatan. Lost his licence to practice in certain states in the USA, PhD from a University that was investigated for “selling them”; loads of publications in quite frankly shit journals; stated that Robin Williams suicide was due to an untreated “Rothbarts Foot”, no respect from any of his peers…. Fella is a 2@…. Appeal to Craig to have this removed Bri, or for that matter, to have all your posts removed (again) everyone knows what you are and no-one cares about anything you have to say here. It’s around about this time you get someone to come on here and say how great thou art
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
  28. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    Simon, apparently you are not familiar with the rules governing posts on this forum. If I may direct your attention to the following, under Forum Rules:

    Be Courteous!
    Don't attack others. Personal attacks on others will not be tolerated. Challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully ... without insult and personal attack.

    Craig, why do you allow Simon to violate your Forum Rules?
  29. you obviously missed the bit in the rules about excessive self-promotion
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2023
  30. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    A qEEG study (2021) clearly demonstrated a link between Gravity Drive Pronation and CNS aberrations (increased B-Wave activity) which can result in depression. My query 9 years ago that RFS might have played a role in his suicide is within the realm of possibilities.

    So, Simon, what is so despicable? Except, IMO, the comments on that thread.
  31. Dan T

    Dan T Active Member

    Robin Williams was a recovering alcoholic who had recently received a diagnosis for Parkinson's disease and was also suffering from lewy body dementia. As someone in long term sobriety, and with family members who have lived through dementia I share his biological makeup and I can empathise with his situation at that time. I can quite confidently conclude that the lack of a proprioceptive insole wasn't a causative factor in his suicide. To suggest otherwise is frankly both; fucking mental and insensitive to the extreme!
    I worked for 10 years within mental health nursing before coming to Podiatry a few years ago. The traits of narcissistic personality disorder are glaringly obvious and grandiose self-aggrandisement is the most obvious tell. I would implore everybody removes the one commodity they have that the narcissist desires, their attention.
    I have found this website and past threads massively helpful as I have moved more and more into biomechanics to try to help my patients. I've just skipped through the obvious pathological rantings dotted throughout the site but the above really does take the biscuit and has made me break my own rule.
    I hope the actual content which helps bridge the disconnect between academia and frontline practitioners continues on this site however, because it really is gold mine for people like me starting out. Have a good day all
  32. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    Hi Dan,

    Our understanding of aetiologies is in constant flux. What we fervently believe is untrue, today, may prove to be true tomorrow.

    Over the past 50 years, I have gone down many roads in my research, some productive, others not. I believe I am the first, using qEEGs, to make the connection between proprioceptive signals generated in the feet to changes in beta wave activity. And, as you know, this can impact mentation. So, why not - a link between William's depression and proprioceptive signals generated in the feet.

    You may feel this is absurd, but there was a time when people thought the sun rotated around the earth. I believe the church even restricted Kepler's (or was it Galileo's) freedom for suggesting the earth travels around the sun.

    Keep an open mind. Just because something sounds unbelievable today, doesn't necessarily make it untrue. And, IMO, it is not "mental and insensitive to the extreme" to research areas that some people may find uncomfortable.

    Found your comments thought provoking. I encourage you to participate frequently on this forum.
  33. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    If you had checked Academia.edu, you would have seen a list of 119 healthcare professionals and educators following my research, 46 of which are Podiatrists and Postural Therapists.

    Between ResearchGate and Academia, my research has registered over 23,000 reads and cited over 200 times in different healthcare publications! Hopefully I can initiate a serious discussion on my research, here, on this forum.
  34. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member


    What you wrote above is truly oxymoronic. To be more specific, if my intent was to hid out, as you suggest, Researchgate would be the last place I would download my publications. I say this because Researchgate has a large active membership who frequently peruse and comment on the papers.

    If my intent was to hide out, I would find a forum used by relatively few partitioners dealing with a small subspeciality. Now that would be a forum I could truly hide out in.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2023
  35. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    And Rob Kidd Writes:

    I looked at one publication by example: Etiology of Clubfoot Deformity, Preclinical Clubfoot Deformity and PMS foot deformity. I am thinking to myself that perhaps you would explain to us just exactly which refereed journal this was published in, and perhaps the referee process. Maybe, if not too embarrassing, you may like to show us the referees reports. I have been there often enough, it can be soul destroying. I once had one from Washington DC that made me feel like I should never have been born. You see, the referee process has been a part of real academic publication for at leat 100 years. With respect Brian, you do not seem to be aware or even cogniscent of this.

    And, as another issue, nine references for such a report, including three from yourself? The number of references is a difficult issue, but a number in the 15-50 would be more the mark. By way of example, I have just done a quick count of a paper that I was 2nd author on 30 years ago , 25 - though two of them were me.

    Earlier you mentioned a 55 year time in study. Researchgate was clearly not available then; perhaps you would explain where your work was published then.
  36. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member


    If you look at my C.V. on my patient website or on Researchgate, you will note that some of my papers underwent peer review process, others did not. The specific paper you cited was not peer reviewed. Instead, I chose to placed it on Reseachgate for researchers to comment on. I also placed it online (PositiveHealth, a monthly holistic publication of nearly 25 years).

    With due respect Rob, I am very aware of the referee process, having gone through it on many occasions.

    Regarding the number of references in a paper, it depends on the subject matter. Some of my publications had over 25 references, others less. To my recollection/understanding, there is no rule set in stone that states the number of references a paper must have before it is considered for publication. However, if I am wrong, please do correct me.

    And just a side comment, the number of references a paper has does not determine its' relevancy or eruditeness.

    I have published in the American Journal of Podiatric Medicine, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, American Journal of Pain Management (now Pain Management), Journal of Orthodontics, Podiatry Review, and the Journal of Cranio, Manidibular and Sleep Practice, all prior to Researchgate.

    I have also placed many papers online, principally with PositiveHealth.

    Any other queries you may have, please fire away!
  37. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member

    I have attached a photo of the calcaneus of A.sediba (taken from The Lower Limb and Mechanics of Walking in A.sediba). The inverted (supinatus) of the posterior aspect of the calcaneus is quite apparent, which is the hallmark of the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.

    Attached Files:

  38. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    The so-called calcaneal inversion (which does not equal supinatus) is a routine finding in the all great apes apart from Homo sapiens. And, any practitioner will tell you that Root's vertical calcaneus in adult Homo sapiens is fiction. So what you are actually saying, though it does not include the word "Rothbart", is that A. sediba has an ape-like calcaneus. I refer you to the original description in Science, 2011 (surely you do not need me to give to the actual reference); it said exactly that.
  39. Brian A. Rothbart

    Brian A. Rothbart Well-Known Member


    I believe you may be confused with the terminology evolving out of my research.

    The photo I have attached, shows, what is labelled, calcaneal inversion. However, this descriptor is a misnomer: inversion refers to a movement, not a structural deformation. The correct descriptor is calcaneal supinatus, which refers to a bony twist in the posterior aspect of the calcaneus.

    I contend this structural twist is not fictional in humans, as you suggest. Rather it is a common finding, present in the structural aberration I have termed the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. And yes, this is an ape-like deformation.

    PCFD's aetiology is apparent when one reviews their basic foot embryology, which is succinctly outlined, in the paper I referenced above.
  40. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Rob, did you have a typo there? I'm having trouble reconciling the first sentence with the second.

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