Effect of customised preformed foot orthoses on gait parameters in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: A multicentre randomised clinical trial
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Fellas, A., Singh-Grewal, D., Chaitow, J., Santos, D., Clapham, M. and Coda, A. (2022) 'Effect of customised preformed foot orthoses on gait parameters in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: A multicentre randomised clinical trial', Gait & Posture, 95, pp. 93-99.
Background Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can experience significant physical impairment of the lower extremity. Prolonged joint disease and symptoms may cause gait alterations such as reduced walking speed and increased plantar pressures in diseased areas of their feet. There is limited robust clinical trials investigating the effect of non-invasive mechanical therapies such as foot orthoses (FOs) on improving gait parameters in children with JIA.Research question Are customised preformed FOs effective in improving gait parameters in children with JIA?Methods A multicentre, parallel design, single-blinded randomised clinical trial was used to assess the gait impacts of customised preformed FOs on children with JIA. Children with a diagnosis of JIA, exhibiting lower limb symptoms and aged 5–18 were eligible. The trial group received a low-density full length, Slimflex Simple device which was customised chair side and the control group received a sham device. Peak pressure and pressure time integrals were used as the main gait outcomes and were measured using portable Tekscan gait analysis technology at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Differences at each follow-up were assessed using the Wilcoxon rank sum test.Results 66 participants were recruited. Customised preformed FOs were effective in altering plantar pressures in children with JIA versus a control device. Reductions of peak pressures and pressure time integrals in the heel, forefoot and 5th metatarsophalangeal joint were statistically significant in favour of the trial group. This was associated with statistically significant increased midfoot contact with the trial device at baseline, 3 and 6-month data collections. The trial intervention was safe and well accepted by participants, which is reflected in the high retention rate (92%).Significance Clinicians may prescribe customised preformed FOs in children with JIA to deflect pressure from painful joints and redistribute from high pressure areas such as the rearfoot and forefoot.