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Published on Oct 16, 2016
Dr. Kirby demonstrates, with a wooden foot model, how the plantar fascia and plantar ligaments work together to contribute to longitudinal arch stability in the foot. The model demonstrates the concept of the Longitudinal Arch Load Sharing System, first described by Dr. Kirby in 2012 (Kirby KA: Foot and Lower Extremity Biomechanics IV: Precision Intricast Newsletters, 2009-2013. Precision Intricast, Inc., Payson, AZ, 2014, pp. 31-34).
Both the plantar fascia and plantar ligaments can be considered to be tension load-bearing structures which passively help prevent the longitudinal arch of the foot from flattening and lengthening under weightbearing loads. Dr. Kirby's model demonstrates how each metatarsal ray may contribute to this longitudinal arch stability and how loss of the plantar fascia or plantar ligaments to an individual or set of metatarsal rays will allow increased compliance of that metatarsal ray (i.e. decreased stiffness) and greater deformation of that section of the longitudinal arch. In addition, abnormal subtalar joint pronation and supination moments may be generated by loss of the plantar fascia or plantar ligaments to any of the metatarsal rays.