Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Director

Stacie Ringleb

Committee Member

Sebastian Bawab

Committee Member

Zac Domire


Compared to healthy individuals, individuals with plantar fasciitis and diabetes experience material and structural property changes to soft tissues in the feet. The purpose of this study was to compare the relationship between material properties, power absorption, and energy storage characteristics to metatarsal power between healthy, plantar fasciitis symptomatic and asymptomatic, and diabetic participants. Investigating material change differences as well as energy storage and transfer trends in different pathology groups can lead to a better overall understanding of power transfer at the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP). Participants were recruited for kinematic gait analysis and lower extremity shear wave elastography analysis and fell into subgroups of either having plantar fasciitis and having symptoms (PFS, n=11), plantar fasciitis without having symptoms (PFA, n=5), diabetic type 1 or 2 (DT1, n=7/DT2, n=8), or age-matched healthy controls (n=16). There was no significant difference between subgroups at either the plantar fascia (PF) proximal or distal region. PFS presented statistically significant (p=.02) reductions in the total range of motion consistent with prior literature. Insignificant differences in the Redistribution Ratio between subgroups, which is the ratio of total positive work performed by MTP joint musculature to the proximal joint musculature, suggests that work is performed about the MTP similarly in both eccentric and concentric motions. PFA was found to have a positive relationship between eccentric peak power and the PF proximal (r=.897, p=.003), as well as a negative relationship between concentric peak power and the PF distal stiffness (r=-.72, p=.044). These observations suggest that there may be an altered mechanism of moment execution in the plantarflexion propulsion movement in a PFA population.


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