Footwear Interventions for Foot Pain, Function, Impairment and Disability for People With Foot and Ankle Arthritis: A Literature Review
Objective: To conduct a literature review on the effectiveness of footwear on foot pain, function, impairment and disability for people with foot and ankle arthritis. Methods: A search of the electronic databases Scopus, Medline, CINAHL, SportDiscus and the Cochrane Library was undertaken in September 2017. The key inclusion criteria were studies reporting on findings of footwear interventions for people with arthritis with foot pain, function, impairment and/or disability. The Quality Index Tool was used to assess the methodological quality of studies included in the qualitative synthesis. The methodological variation of the included studies was assessed to determine the suitability of meta-analysis and the grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) system. Between and within group effect sizes were calculated using Cohen’s d.
Results: 1440 studies were identified for screening with 11 studies included in the review. Mean (range) quality scores were 67% (39–96%). The majority of studies investigated rheumatoid arthritis (n ¼ 7), but also included gout (n ¼ 2), and 1st metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis (n ¼ 2). Meta-analysis and GRADE assessment were not deemed appropriated based on methodological variation. Footwear interventions included off-the-shelf footwear, therapeutic footwear and therapeutic footwear with foot orthoses. Key footwear characteristics included cushioning and a wide toe box for rheumatoid arthritis; cushioning, midsole stability and a rocker-sole for gout; and a rocker-sole for 1st metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis. Between group effect sizes for outcomes ranged from 0.01 to 1.26. Footwear interventions were associated with reductions in foot pain, impairment and disability for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Between group differences were more likely to be observed in studies with shorter follow-up periods in people with rheumatoid arthritis (12 weeks). Footwear interventions improved foot pain, function and disability in people with gout and foot pain and function in 1st metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis. Footwear interventions were associated with changes to plantar pressure in people with rheumatoid arthritis, gout and 1st metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis and walking velocity in people with rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Conclusion: Footwear interventions are associated with reductions in foot pain, impairment and disability in people with rheumatoid arthritis, improvements to foot pain, function and disability in people with gout and improvements to foot pain and function in people with 1st metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis. Footwear interventions have been shown to reduce plantar pressure rheumatoid arthritis, gout and 1st metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis and improve walking velocity in rheumatoid arthritis and gout.