Kudos To JAPMA

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS

In case you have not had a chance to read it yet, the May/June 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association (JAPMA) is among the best ever in terms of content for the fan of lower extremity biomechanics.

Hats off to Warren Joseph, DPM, who has driven this journal to a level of excellence, which is admired around the world. One only has to look at the diverse contributions from international researchers to appreciate that JAPMA is now a stage for publishing landmark articles relevant to all aspects of podiatric medicine.

I was particularly impressed by five articles in the latest issue of JAPMA that dealt with various studies of podiatric biomechanics. Shannon Mahar, MSc, and Lori Livingston, PhD, both from Great Britain, gave an eye-opening insight into the variation which can occur when different measurement techniques are used to measure rearfoot position and tibial varum.

Landsman and colleagues studied two “Good Feet” orthoses to determine the effects on pain, reduction of deformity and balance.2 Remember all those tacky infomercials for Good Feet stores? Read this article.

Beverly Durrant, MSc, BSc(Hons) Pod, and Nachiappan Chockalingam, PhD, provide an in-depth review of current and past concepts of functional hallux limitus.3 The authors correctly note that most previous publications on this subject are based upon theory and anecdotal findings. They call for robust quantitative research to facilitate evidence-based practice for the future.

Do you ever wonder what happens to a kid’s feet when walking on Heelys? Check out the article by Nathan Norem, BS, and colleagues from the Scholl’s Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research.4 The discussion section of this article is a first-class illustration of the numerous factors that go into biomechanical analysis.

Finally, the article by Fiona Hawke, BAppSc(Pod)Hons, Joshua Burns, PhD, BAppSc(Pod)Hons, and Karl Landorf, PhD, GradDipEd, DipAppSc(Pod) is a must-read for all podiatric physicians.5

Arguably the premier authorities on evidence-based research in podiatric medicine, these Australia-based professors provide a keen insight into the need for systematic reviews for podiatric physicians to make sense of the plethora of research being published today that is relevant to their field of clinical practice. They provide an excellent review of the Cochrane Collaboration, which we now commonly see quoted by third party payors when they deny new treatments as being “experimental.”

This issue of JAPMA provides a wonderful international contribution to our current understanding of biomechanics, research and evidence-based medicine. I am proud that our APMA has such a stellar journal to showcase our current level of practice and cooperation with contributors from around the world.


1. Mahar SM, Livingston LA. Bilateral measurement of resting calcaneal stance position and tibial varum using digital photography and standardized positioning protocols. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3):198-205, 2009.

2. Landsman A, DeFronzo D, Anderson J, Roukis T. Scientific assessment of over-the-counter foot orthoses to determine their effects on pain, balance and foot deformities. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3):206-215, 2009.

3. Durrant B, Chockalingham N. Functional hallux limitus: a review. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3):236-243, 2009.

4. Norem N, Feuerstein C, Traverso N, et al. Gait changes with the use of Heelys: A case study. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3):247-250, 2009.

5. Hawke F, Burns J, Landorf KB. Evidence-based podiatric medicine: Importance of systematic reviews in clinical practice. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3):260-266, 2009.

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