Quantification of plantar soft tissue changes due to aging in various metatarsophalangeal joint angles with realistic tissue deformation

Jee Chin Teoh, V. P.W. Shim, Taeyong Lee

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14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nonlinearity of plantar soft tissue is seldom examined because of the small extent of deformation induced during indentation for measurement purposes. Furthermore, in most indentation experiments, the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) angle is not well controlled, although it has been proven to have a significant stiffening effect on sub-metatarsal head (MTH) pads. Hence, the study aims to quantify changes in the mechanical properties of plantar soft tissue due to aging under an experimental condition which is similar to walking. This is done by subjecting the tissue to an appropriate level of deformation at various MTPJ angles. A custom-made in vivo tissue indenter was used to measure directly the force-indentation response of the plantar tissue of two healthy groups: "Young" (. n=25, mean age 22) and "Elderly" (. n=25, mean age 67) subjects. Tests were performed on the 2nd sub-MTH pad at angles of 0°, 20°, 40° MTPJ dorsiflexion, as well as at the hallux and heel pad at 0° MTPJ angle. At all three plantar sites tested, elderly subjects showed significantly higher tissue stiffness than the young (. p<0.05). However, the stiffening effect of MTPJ angle was not notably influenced by aging. In this work, tissue stiffness is quantified in stiffness constant (K) based on the proposed indentation technique. It is hypothesized that the increase in stiffness with age observed is probably due to compositional change in the plantar soft tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3043-3049
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume47
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Indentation
  • Metatarsophalangeal joint
  • Plantar soft tissue stiffness
  • Sub-metatarsal head (MTH)

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