Reasearch Awards nomination

Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Ultrasonic evaluation of the abductor hallucis muscle in hallux valgus: a cross-sectional observational study

Sarah Stewart1, Richard Ellis2, Mike Heath3 and Keith Rome1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Podiatry, Health & Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

2 School of Physiotherapy, Health & Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

3 Horizon Scanning, Health & Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:45  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-45

Published: 28 January 2013

Abstract

Background

The aim of the study was to investigate the abductor hallucis muscle characteristics, defined as dorso-plantar (DP) thickness, medio-lateral (ML) width, and cross-sectional area (CSA) in relation to the severity of hallux valgus using musculoskeletal ultrasound. One hundred and two feet, mean (SD) age of 60.3 (20.54) years old, displaying varying severities of hallux valgus were stratified into four groups representing the four grades of the Manchester Scale (grade 0: no deformity, grade 1: mild deformity, grade 2: moderate deformity and grade 3: severe deformity).

Methods

The abductor hallucis muscle was imaged in each foot using a portable ultrasound system. The mean (SD) DP thickness, ML width, and CSA measurements were compared across the four Manchester Scale grades using a one-way ANOVA.

Results

Significant differences in DP thickness were found between feet with no hallux valgus (grade 0) and feet with hallux valgus grade 2 (p = 0.001) and 3 (p < 0.001). Significant differences were also found in ML width between feet with no hallux valgus (grade 0) and feet with grade 2 hallux valgus (p = 0.010). Significant differences in CSA were found between feet with no hallux valgus (grade 0) and feet with grade 2 (p < 0.001) and grade 3 (p < 0.001) hallux valgus. No significant differences in these three muscle characteristics were found between grades 1, 2 and 3 (p > 0.0125).

Conclusions

We speculate that morphological changes to the abductor hallucis muscle occur early in the development of the deformity.

Keywords:
Hallux valgus; Abductor hallucis; Musculoskeletal ultrasound; Intrinsic foot muscle; First metatarsophalangeal joint