Development and Clinical Evaluation of a Second-Generation Dynamic Foot Stretch Splint

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details

Abstract

Plantar fascia stretch plays an important role in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Passively dorsiflexing the toes (windlass mechanism) imposes tension onto plantar fascia, and this mechanism is found to have a positive effect on treating plantar fasciitis. Most stretch splints for use in treatment of plantar fasciitis do not provide this stretch. The ones that do are very inefficient and uncomfortable because of their static nature. In reference to the literature findings and the pros and cons of current available stretch splints, the author designed and manufactured a dynamic stretch splint which combined the Achilles tendon stretch and plantar fascia stretch. The dynamic nature of the splint has been examined and a design patent is pending. The preliminary test for this first generation splint demonstrated a weak metatarsophalangeal joint which deformed after repetitive use. In addition, the stretch force and design contour caused some discomfort during splint application. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to design and develop a 2nd generation by, firstly, reinforcing the weak splint joint with different material and geometry modification; secondly, improving comfortability by adjusting stretch force and contour fitting; thirdly, perform clinical evaluation of this splint onto patients with plantar fasciitis. These series of study will be conducted in two years. In the first year, we will work on structural reinforcement, and evaluate the stretch force and comfort while applying on healthy adults. The second year we will conduct clinical evaluation of this splint with plantar fasciitis patients and perform outcome assessment. We expect to see significant improvement in structure strength, effectiveness and comfortability in this 2nd generation splint. This dynamic stretch splint could potentially be used on subjects with plantar fasciitis, and any other foot contracture problem.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC9712-0383
External Project ID:NSC97-2314-B182-038-MY2
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/11/0831/07/09

Keywords

  • plantar fasciitis
  • stretch
  • splint
  • windlass mechanism
  • mechanical

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