The foot is one of the most complex musculoskeletal systems in the body, playing a pivotal role in gait and posture. Epidemiological studies indicate that a high prevalence of foot problems is associated with a greater burden of pain, disability and decreased health-related quality of life. Disabling foot pain is likely to be multifactorial in origin, however to date there is limited evidence of the psychosocial impact of forefoot problems, as such the associated burden is unknown. The study was qualitative with the use of semi-structured interviews to explore patients’ experiences of their foot problem and of undergoing surgical consultation and/or intervention for hallux valgus and/or hallux rigidus. Sixteen patients participated: 14 females and 2 males; mean age of 61 years, SD 7.23 from a National Health Service secondary care hospital within an orthopaedic department, who required surgery for hallux valgus and/or hallux rigidus. Thematic analysis generated three themes; ‘the impact of pain’, ‘the decision-making process’ and ‘body image, the self and identity’. Forefoot problems present many issues for patients and impact on their physical, social and psychological health. Forefoot problems are multifactorial and patients should be supported using a biopsychosocial approach.
|Journal||Pain and Rehabilitation: The Journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 1 Jul 2021|