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Root theory

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Choppy, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Choppy

    Choppy Welcome New Poster

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    I am currently trying to study about the root theory. can anyone please help to try to understand what this theory is actually about?

    thanks :)
  2. You could start by searching this site. We had a thread started yesterday with exactly the same title. Has this been set as an undergraduate assignment somewhere?

    Try reading Roots books! They'll be in that big building with the word "Library" on the door.
  3. Choppy

    Choppy Welcome New Poster

    thanks for responding to my threat , i would like to inform you that I am actually in a library with books, however I cannot find any articles related to the root theory.
  4. 1st :welcome: to Podiatry Arena.

    2nd if you have a specific question maybe we can help, but explain Root theory Root et al wrote 2 very large texts trying to explain their theory. So I suggest you read and themn if there are specifics come and ask. Ive done my Root theory study once AT UNI I'm not going to do yours.
  5. Choppy

    Choppy Welcome New Poster

    ok thanks for your help .. i'll try and do my best :)
  6. rdp1210

    rdp1210 Active Member

    Start with the following article:

    Lee, William Eric. "Podiatric biomechanics. An historical appraisal and discussion of the Root model as a clinical system of approach in the present context of theoretical uncertainty." Clinics in podiatric medicine and surgery 18, no. 4 (2001): 555-684.

    You will find it one of the best referenced articles written. Also in the same issue will be additional articles by Skliar, Mathieson, Demp, Payne, Wernick and Kirby.

    Good luck
  7. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    There is no such thing as "Root Theory". Merton L. Root, DPM proposed a number of theories in his body of work. Here are a few:
    1. The theory of the neutral position of the subtalar joint.
    2. Root's theory of structural classification of the foot, which utilized the neutral position of the stj as a standard position for comparing feet.
    3. The neutral position casting technique which employed theory #1 above and the theory that fully pronating the midtarsal joint during non-weightbearing casting is beneficial when casting feet for functional orthoses.
    4. The Root theories of compensation of the foot in which Root theorized how the individual bones and segments of the foot might compensate during weight bearing activity.
    5. Roots method of bisecting the posterior surface of the calcaneus (Root's theory of heel bisection).
    6. Roots method of biomechanical examination of the foot, which employed goniometric measurement techniques including but not limited to measuring the rom of the calcaneus in the frontal plane to measure the frontal plane component of stj motion, using a forefoot measuring device to determine the angular relationship between the plantar plane of the forefoot and the bisection of the calcaneus, etc.

    Root et al wrote three books. One was a casting manual which used photographs and text to explain and teach the neutral position casting technique that Root developed. The second was a 136 page book called Biomechanical Examination of the Foot. This book is an instruction manual in which Root et al used drawings on almost every page and brief text to explain terminology and to demonstrate methods of examining the foot. The third and largest book is 478 pages in which the authors describe structure and function of the foot. This is where Root explains his theories of compensation and how structure influences function. In this book the authors also explain muscle function and how muscle function influences the position and motion of the joints of the foot throughout the gait cycle and also attempt to explain the cause of pathology of the foot. It is perhaps the most comprehensive effort (book) explaining the function of the foot and lower extremity.

    Merton Root developed and coined the term "functional orthosis". He originally used extrinsic forefoot and rearfoot posting on his orthoses. He popularized the use of methyl methacrylate (dental acrylic) for posting orthoses. He later developed the intrinsic method of posting an orthosis which involved adding a plaster-of-Paris balance platform to the positive cast in order to alter the shape of distal edge of the orthosis in order to influence the frontal plane orientation of the orthotic shell and to enable support of the metatarsal shafts (to support the inverted or everted plane of the forefoot). Root also began incorporating motion in the extrinsic rearfoot post of the orthosis.

    Root theory can't be clearly defined and is a term that should not be used.

  8. Jeff and Daryl,

    You guys do realise this thread was from 2011, right?
  9. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    No, I saw Daryl's reply and didn't happen to look at the previous date. Thanks Simon.

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