An April 2022 paper (1) assessed the impact of ligament tears on joint contact mechanics in progressive collapsing foot deformity. The researchers wrote: “Patients with longstanding progressive collapsing foot deformity often develop osteoarthritis of the ankle, midfoot, or hindfoot joints, which can be symptomatic or lead to fixed deformities that complicate treatment. The development of deformity is likely caused by ligament degeneration and tears. However, the effect of individual ligament tears on changes in joint contact mechanics has not been investigated.”
To test their assessment, the researchers using computer models compared joint contact areas, forces, and pressures between the intact and collapsed foot, and to evaluate the effect of individual ligament tears on joint contact mechanics.
Their findings: “Degenerative tearing of the ligaments in flatfoot deformity leads to increased joint contact pressures, primarily in the calcaneocuboid, subtalar, and tibiotalar joints, which has been implicated in the development of osteoarthritis in these joints. An improved understanding of the relationship between ligament tears and joint contact pressures could provide support for the use of ligament reconstructions to prevent the development of arthrosis (bone spur/bone fusion).
1 Malakoutikhah H, Madenci E, Latt LD. The impact of ligament tears on joint contact mechanics in progressive collapsing foot deformity: A finite element study. Clinical Biomechanics. 2022 Apr 1;94:105630.