Weight bearing versus non-weight bearing ankle dorsiflexion measurement in people with diabetes: a cross sectional study
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Authors: Searle A, Spink MJ, Chuter VH
Publication: BMC musculoskeletal disorders
Accurate measurement of ankle dorsiflexion is important in both research and clinical practice as restricted motion has been associated with many foot pathologies and increased risk of ulcer in people with diabetes. This study aimed to determine the level of association between non-weight bearing versus weight bearing ankle dorsiflexion in adults with and without diabetes, and to evaluate the reliability of the measurement tools.
One hundred and thirty-six adults with diabetes and 30 adults without diabetes underwent ankle dorsiflexion measurement non-weight bearing, using a modified Lidcombe template, and weight bearing, using a Lunge test. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with 95% confidence intervals, standard error of measurement and minimal detectable change were determined.
There was a moderate correlation (r = 0.62-0.67) between weight and non-weight bearing tests in the non-diabetes group, and a negligible correlation in the diabetes group(r = 0.004-0.007). Intratester reliability was excellent in both groups for the modified Lidcombe template (ICC = 0.89-0.94) and a Lunge test (ICC = 0.83-0.89). Intertester reliability was also excellent in both groups for the Lidcombe template (ICC = 0.91) and a Lunge test (ICC = 0.88-0.93).
We found the modified Lidcombe template and a Lunge test to be reliable tests to measure non-weight bearing and weight bearing ankle dorsiflexion in adults with and without diabetes. While both methods are reliable, further definition of weight bearing ankle dorsiflexion normative ranges may be more relevant for clinical practice.