Foot and Ankle Research

The foot and ankle research program within the Centre is led by Professor Hylton B Menz and Associate Professor Karl Landorf and focuses on the epidemiology, biomechanics, diagnosis and treatment of common musculoskeletal disorders affecting the foot and ankle. We are currently undertaking several randomised trials assessing the effectiveness of treatments for osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy.

The ANCOR study

306 participants were a part of a randomised trial which investigated the effectiveness of a prefabricated foot orthosis for the prevention of common lower limb overuse injuries in naval recruits. The foot orthosis was shown to provide a 34% relative reduction in injury.

For more information, visit the ANCOR study blog page.

The FOOTPATH trial

Kneecap arthritis (patellofemoral osteoarthritis) is a common condition that effects individuals of middle-age, and results in pain, physical limitations, and reduced quality of life. The primary aim of the FOOTPATH study was to investigate the effectiveness of foot orthoses versus flat inserts on pain in individuals with kneecap arthritis. This 160 participant study was a parallel group, participant- and assessor-blinded, randomised controlled trial with a 12-month follow-up. Data analysis is currently underway to determine which intervention was more effective.

For more information, visit the FOOTPATH trial blog page

The SOOTHE trial

Plantar heel pain is a common condition that can result in significant pain, disability, and reduced quality of life. Numerous interventions are used to treat plantar heel pain, and two of the more common interventions are foot orthoses (shoe insoles) and steroid injections. The primary aim of the SOOTHE trial is to compare the effectiveness of ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections and foot orthoses for individuals with plantar heel pain, using an assessor-blinded randomised trial.

For more information, visit the SOOTHE trial blog page.

The SIMPLE trial

The primary aim of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of shoe stiffening inserts in the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) of the foot. This 90-participant study was a parallel group, participant-and assessor-blinded, randomised controlled trial with a 52 week follow-up.

For more information, visit the SIMPLE trial blog page.

The TREADON trial

Pain under the heel, known as plantar heel pain is a relatively common condition with up to 1 in 10 adults affected at some point in their lives. This study will investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of individualised exercise or adjustable shoe insoles delivered by physiotherapists and podiatrists compared with self-management advice for patients with plantar heel pain.

For more information, visit the TREADON trial blog page.

The REFORM trial

Falls and fall-related injuries are a serious cause of morbidity and cost to society. Foot problems and inappropriate footwear may increase the risk of falls; therefore podiatric interventions may play a role in reducing falls. The REFORM trial aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a multifaceted podiatry intervention in reducing falls in people aged 65 years and over in a UK and Irish setting.

For more information, visit the REFORM trial blog page.