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Salient features of the Maasai foot: analysis of 1,096 Maasai subjects.

Choi JY, Suh JS, Seo L - Clin Orthop Surg (2014)

Bottom Line: Although they walk long distances of up to sixty kilometers a day, they do not suffer from any foot ailments.Dynamic footprints showed even pressure patterns throughout the forefoot (64.87%), followed by lateral forefoot pressure concentration patterns (21.81%).Our study shows the distinct parameters that provide more insight into the Maasai foot.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Meru Regional Hospital, Arusha, Tanzania.

ABSTRACT

Background: The Maasai are the most widely known African ethnic group located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Most spend their days either barefoot or in their traditional shoes made of car tires. Although they walk long distances of up to sixty kilometers a day, they do not suffer from any foot ailments. Little is known about their foot structure and gait. The goal of this investigation was to characterize various aspects of Maasai foot in standing and walking.

Methods: Foot length, calf circumference, hindfoot alignment, step length, cadence, and walking velocity were obtained from 1,096 adult Maasai people (545 males and 551 females; mean age, 40.28 ± 14.69 years; age range, 16 to 65 years). All included subjects were from rural areas, where the primary terrain was sandy soil, who spend most of their lifetime barefoot, walking. They all denied any medical history or previous symptoms related to foot problems. A trained clinician scanned all feet for deformities. Static (standing) and dynamic (walking) Harris mat footprints were taken to determine the distribution of forefoot pressure patterns during walking.

Results: The average foot length was 250.14 ± 18.12 mm (range, 210 to 295 mm) and calf circumference was 32.50 ± 3.22 cm (range, 25 to 41 cm). The mean hindfoot alignment was 6.21° ± 1.55° of valgus. Sixty-four subjects (5.84%) had bilateral flat-shaped feet with a low medial longitudinal arch that exactly matched the broad pattern of their static footprints. Step length, cadence, and walking velocity were 426.45 ± 88.73 cm (range, 200 to 690 cm), 94.35 steps/min (range, 72 to 111 steps/min), and 40.16 ± 8.36 m/min (range, 18.20 to 63.36 m/min), respectively. A total of 83.39% subjects showed unilateral or bilateral deformities of multiple toes regardless of age. The most frequent deformity was clawing (98.79%) of which the highest incidence occurred with the fifth toe (93.23%). Dynamic footprints showed even pressure patterns throughout the forefoot (64.87%), followed by lateral forefoot pressure concentration patterns (21.81%).

Conclusions: Our study shows the distinct parameters that provide more insight into the Maasai foot.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Medial (A), middle (B), lateral (C), and even (D) dynamic forefoot pressure concentration.
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Figure 8: Medial (A), middle (B), lateral (C), and even (D) dynamic forefoot pressure concentration.

Mentions: The dynamic forefoot pressure concentration was divided into four groups according to the maximal pressure concentration point. The four groups were as follows: even, even pressure throughout the forefoot; medial, pressure under the first metatarsal head; middle, pressure under the second and third metatarsal heads, spreading to include the fourth metatarsal head; and lateral, the fifth metatarsal head spreading to include the fourth metatarsal head (Fig. 8). The distribution of a dynamic forefoot pressure concentration according to gender and age is shown in Fig. 9. The even pressure pattern showed a significant difference in frequency (64.87%, p < 0.05), followed by the lateral concentration pattern (21.81%). Males in group 2 showed a significantly higher ratio in the medial forefoot area throughout the whole subgroups (26%, p < 0.05) and females in group 2 showed a significantly higher ratio in the lateral forefoot area (35%, p < 0.05).


Salient features of the Maasai foot: analysis of 1,096 Maasai subjects.

Choi JY, Suh JS, Seo L - Clin Orthop Surg (2014)

Medial (A), middle (B), lateral (C), and even (D) dynamic forefoot pressure concentration.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4233220&req=5

Figure 8: Medial (A), middle (B), lateral (C), and even (D) dynamic forefoot pressure concentration.
Mentions: The dynamic forefoot pressure concentration was divided into four groups according to the maximal pressure concentration point. The four groups were as follows: even, even pressure throughout the forefoot; medial, pressure under the first metatarsal head; middle, pressure under the second and third metatarsal heads, spreading to include the fourth metatarsal head; and lateral, the fifth metatarsal head spreading to include the fourth metatarsal head (Fig. 8). The distribution of a dynamic forefoot pressure concentration according to gender and age is shown in Fig. 9. The even pressure pattern showed a significant difference in frequency (64.87%, p < 0.05), followed by the lateral concentration pattern (21.81%). Males in group 2 showed a significantly higher ratio in the medial forefoot area throughout the whole subgroups (26%, p < 0.05) and females in group 2 showed a significantly higher ratio in the lateral forefoot area (35%, p < 0.05).

Bottom Line: Although they walk long distances of up to sixty kilometers a day, they do not suffer from any foot ailments.Dynamic footprints showed even pressure patterns throughout the forefoot (64.87%), followed by lateral forefoot pressure concentration patterns (21.81%).Our study shows the distinct parameters that provide more insight into the Maasai foot.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Meru Regional Hospital, Arusha, Tanzania.

ABSTRACT

Background: The Maasai are the most widely known African ethnic group located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Most spend their days either barefoot or in their traditional shoes made of car tires. Although they walk long distances of up to sixty kilometers a day, they do not suffer from any foot ailments. Little is known about their foot structure and gait. The goal of this investigation was to characterize various aspects of Maasai foot in standing and walking.

Methods: Foot length, calf circumference, hindfoot alignment, step length, cadence, and walking velocity were obtained from 1,096 adult Maasai people (545 males and 551 females; mean age, 40.28 ± 14.69 years; age range, 16 to 65 years). All included subjects were from rural areas, where the primary terrain was sandy soil, who spend most of their lifetime barefoot, walking. They all denied any medical history or previous symptoms related to foot problems. A trained clinician scanned all feet for deformities. Static (standing) and dynamic (walking) Harris mat footprints were taken to determine the distribution of forefoot pressure patterns during walking.

Results: The average foot length was 250.14 ± 18.12 mm (range, 210 to 295 mm) and calf circumference was 32.50 ± 3.22 cm (range, 25 to 41 cm). The mean hindfoot alignment was 6.21° ± 1.55° of valgus. Sixty-four subjects (5.84%) had bilateral flat-shaped feet with a low medial longitudinal arch that exactly matched the broad pattern of their static footprints. Step length, cadence, and walking velocity were 426.45 ± 88.73 cm (range, 200 to 690 cm), 94.35 steps/min (range, 72 to 111 steps/min), and 40.16 ± 8.36 m/min (range, 18.20 to 63.36 m/min), respectively. A total of 83.39% subjects showed unilateral or bilateral deformities of multiple toes regardless of age. The most frequent deformity was clawing (98.79%) of which the highest incidence occurred with the fifth toe (93.23%). Dynamic footprints showed even pressure patterns throughout the forefoot (64.87%), followed by lateral forefoot pressure concentration patterns (21.81%).

Conclusions: Our study shows the distinct parameters that provide more insight into the Maasai foot.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus