Objective: Hallux valgus (HV), one of the most common forefoot deformities, may increase mechanical loading on the lateral side of the foot, leading to hyperkeratosis in these areas and deterioration of plantar sensation. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between plantar sensation and clinical and functional parameters, such as HV severity, foot posture, gait, and balance in individuals with HV.
Materials and Methods: A total of 29 participants were recruited for the study. The following measurements were taken: the HV angle with a universal goniometer, hallux pain with the Visual Analog Scale, plantar cutaneous sensation with Sem-mes-Weinstein monofilaments, clinical status of the forefoot with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AO-FAS) Hallux-Metatarsophalangeal (MTP)-Interphalangeal (IP) Scale, foot posture with the Foot Posture Index (FPI), postural sway with a force platform, and temporospatial gait parameters with an electronic walkway. Spearman correlation analysis was applied to investigate the relationship between the parameters.
Results: Although age and plantar forefoot sensation were moderately correlated (p=001; r=0.63), the HV angle and pain intensity were not associated with any of the sensory parameters (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The present study showed that plantar forefoot sensation worsened as the patients’ age increased. It is believed that pressure neuropathy may be the reason why HV patients’ forefoot sensitivity deteriorates with age in particular.