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Fast Five Friday: 5 Foot/Ankle Assessments

1. Standing Wall Lean Triple Extension

  • Test ability for triple extension control of glut max, quad, and gastroc/soleus. Specifically it will test the ability to get up onto the 1st ray at end range PF in a position relevant to gait.  It is a test of gastroc soleus strength, post tib strength, and control of calcaneus in toe of phase of gait.

2. Over head squat

  • Can assess function of the foot/ankle in unison with the knee, hip, and spine
  • Can play with a heel prop to see if squat function improves; improvement does not mean the ankle is the limiting factor. Must test close chain dorsiflexion to determine if there is a direct influence on squat function.  If ankle ROM is within normal limits the heel prop is assisting core strength by helping with proper weight shift with a squat improving squat form

3. Single Leg Stance

  • Can assess foot intrinsic, post tib, and static balance
  • most functional with to test with dynamic single leg balance such as a Y balance reach test or with hip ER/IR AROM to determine dynamic foot stability

4. Standing and Lying Subtalar Neutral

  • Can assess calcaneal alignment and ideal resting posture of the foot/ankle
  • Have the patient unload their leg while in standing so you can manipulate the subtalar joint; align the ankle in subtalar neutral where you can equally feel each side the of the talus.  Once in subtalar neutral where is the foot?  Can the 1st ray touch the ground?  Is ther excessive lateral foot loading?  Great way to see what neutral is and how there body compensates from neutral with gait.

5. Close Chain Dorsiflexion Knee to Wall Test

  • Can objectively assess ankle dorsiflexion range of motion in the close chain
  • For a basketball player research supports 7-8cm a minimum, for a sprinter/runner to achieve full stride typically >10cm is desired

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