Corns are brought about by mechanical stresses such as wearing unfit shoes, high levels of activities and the foot exerting a lot of pressure due to the foot deformations (Freeman, 2014). For this reason, corns are due to the reaction of the skin to the pressure exerted and friction between the shoes and the foot thus, pain and irritation in the foot. For a patient with corn problem on the sole of the foot under the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint, he or she will be expected to walk in an antalgic gait. An antalgic gait is when a patient walks in such a way that avoids exerting a lot of pressure and weight to the foot due to pain (Nirenberg, 2014).
According to Nirenberg, the patient will put little pressure on the affected leg while walking for a short period during the stance phase. The patient is likely alter his gait so as to save the injured foot from irritations and inflammations. The normal posture and gait cycle of the patient will be affected. As a result, the patient will try to shorten the strides on the injured foot. Although an antalgic gait affects anybody at any age, research has shown that seniors and athletes are more prone to it as compared to youngsters. Men are more affected by this condition than women because of their physiological predisposition (Nirenberg, 2014).
The normal gait cycle has got two phases: the swing and stance phase (Inverarity, 2014). For a healthy pace, the movements are expected to be smooth since there is proper weight transfer from one leg to another, unlike the antalgic gait whereby there is little weight exerted on the affected leg. The stance phase commences when you start to walk. In mid-stance, the body’s weight is fully exerted on the foot thus if the leg was deformed; it can lead to problems. Thereafter, the weight is transferred to the front part of the foot making the toe lift- off.
According to Inverarity (2014), the swing phase is the time in which the foot is on the ground. The swing phase is subdivided into two phases: acceleration to midswing and midswing to deceleration. Corns located under the metatarsal-phalangeal joint will affect the midstance, loading and contact parts of the stance phase in the gaits cycle (Kessler & Hertling, 2006). Kessler & Hertling further argue that, an antalgic gait is whereby either heel- strike or push-off is missing or both and as a result shortened strides on the affected part occur.
In Conclusion, because of the antalgic gait, there will be change in the point of contact on the heel, angle and base of the gait and finally line tendonitis and bursitis can develop due to shift of the weight bearing (Kessler & Hertling, 2006). Besides that, there will be joint inflammation that will cause pain and irritation. From the above essay, it is evident that, for a normal gait, the movement is smooth and in case of a part that is not functioning well, an antalgic gait is likely to occur. In this case, the contact and mid-stance stages will be severely impacted as the whole body’s weight will be exerted on the metatarsal-phalangeal joint. Thus, to avoid this pain, the patient will walk in an antalgic gait.
- Freeman, B.D., (2002). Corns and Calluses Resulting from Mechanical Hyperkeratosis: American Family Physician.pp. 2277-2280. Available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0601/p2277.html
- Inventarity, L., (2014). The Gait Cycle: Physical Therapy. Available at http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/abbreviationsandterms/a/Gaitcycle.htm
- Hertling, D. & Kessler M.R (2006). Management of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders: Physical Therapy Principles. Pp. 585.
- Nirenberg, M., (2014). Antalgic Gait: Foot Vitals. Available at http://www.footvitals.com/health/antalgic-gait.html