Objective. To assess whether first tarsometatarsal joint stiffness can be measured by Doppler imaging of vibrations and if so, to assess reference values. Design. Repeated in vivo Doppler imaging of vibrations measurements at the first tarsometatarsal joint in healthy persons. Background. Clinical hypermobility of the first tarsometatarsal joint is an important factor in a hallux valgus deformity. No objective and non-invasive test is available to quantify first tarsometatarsal joint mobility. Doppler imaging of vibrations, a technique recently developed to measure joint stiffness, might be an effective tool to quantify stiffness of this joint. Methods. Vibrations were applied to the head of the first metatarsal in 46 feet of 23 healthy subjects and picked up by a transducer at both sides of the first tarsometatarsal joint. A pilot study was performed on three patients with hypermobility of the first tarsometatarsal joint. Measurements are expressed in threshold units related to colour Doppler imaging. Results. The values of the threshold units were found to be very similar in healthy persons, with a good repeatibility; 95% of the healthy persons had a threshold unit below 3.4. No significant difference was found between the left and right foot, or between male and female subjects. Also there was no significant correlation with age or weight of the subjects. In the three patients with first tarsometatarsal hypermobility we found threshold units above 5. Conclusions. With Doppler imaging of vibrations first tarsometatarsal joint stiffness can be measured in healthy persons in a non-invasive and objective way. In a pilot study, three patients with first tarsometatarsal hypermobility showed lower stiffness values than the healthy subjects. Relevance. This study presents a new method for quantification of first tarsometatarsal joint stiffness and provides reference values in healthy persons. First measurements on patients gave promising results to future use of this method for assessment of clinical hypermobility in hallux valgus patients. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.Repeated in vivo Doppler imaging of vibrations measurements at the first tarsometarsal joint in healthy persons were performed. Vibrations were applied to the hed of the first metatarsal in 46 feet of 23 healthy subjects and picked up by a transducer at both sides of the first tarsometatarsal joint. A pilot study was performed on three patients with hypermobility of the first tarsometatarsal joint. Results confirm the usefulness of Doppler imaging for quantification of first tarsometarsal joint stiffness.

Doppler imaging of vibrations, First tarsometatarsal joint, Hallux valgus, Hypermobility, In vivo study, Pilot study
dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0268-0033(00)00049-8, hdl.handle.net/1765/61401
Clinical Biomechanics
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Faber, F.W.M, Kleinrensink, G.J, Buyruk, H.M, Mulder, P.G.H, Stam, H.J, Snijders, C.J, & Stoeckart, R. (2000). Doppler imaging of vibrations as a tool for quantifying first tarsometatarsal joint stiffness. Clinical Biomechanics, 15(10), 761–765. doi:10.1016/S0268-0033(00)00049-8