BERLIN — Four foot and ankle movements that led to increases in vein diameter and velocity in healthy individuals may be an effective, low-cost alternative to chemical and mechanical thromboprophylaxis therapies in patients with injured lower extremities, according to a presenter at the 13th EFORT Congress 2012.
The movements the team tested were seated toe dorsiflexion, seated toe plantar flexion, ankle dorsiflexion, and ankle plantar flexion, according to Amy Morgan, of Cardiff, United Kingdom, who presented the findings here. “Toe and ankle flexion and extension exercises significantly increase calf pump function and should be advised for all patients following foot or ankle injury and surgery,” she and colleagues wrote in the study abstract.
“This is the first study to show that foot and ankle exercises in dorsiflexion and extension can significantly increase calf and foot function and the greatest effect seen was a 10-fold increase with ankle movement in foot pump function,” Morgan said in her presentation.
Toe movements that the healthy individuals who participated in the study performed yielded a 5-fold increase in pump action, Morgan said.
In all 20 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study. There were 11 women and 9 men, and the patients’ mean age was 31 years. Participants were excluded for previous foot and ankle surgery, deep venous thrombosis, peripheral vascular disease or varicose veins. The protocol they followed, according to the abstract, involved starting exercises with the foot in neutral and investigators then measured peak systolic popliteal vein velocity at baseline and with each movement.
- Morgan A, Hickey B, Singh R, et al. The effects of foot and ankle movement on calf pump function. Paper #12-4727. Presented at the 13th EFORT Congress 2012. May 23-25. Berlin.