This presentation will provide an epidemiological overview of the current population levels of foot pathologies, including current challenges and viewpoints. This session will also addressed the need for a data-driven approach as we consider common etiologies and causal pathways, for example, the links between obesity and pedal pathologies as well as special considerations regarding clinical trial designs for the foot and ankle research.
The past decade has brought many new insights to the epidemiology of foot and ankle disorders as well as insights into early pathology, and even possible prevention of impaired foot structure and function. Clinical cases and laboratory studies have provided information on treatment and insights into mechanisms. Yet, we still know relatively little of the population impact and informed prevention that may help people NOT become patients.
The objective of this presentation is to provide a population-based understanding of foot type, pathologies and function in the population from major studies in the United States. We will consider how populations inform science and medicine, how to obtain complex measurements from large groups outside the laboratory, and highlight major findings of population-based foot studies. A better understanding of these issues can help to inform the public as well as disseminate clinical and scientific information.
How do all of these data sources inform our understanding of foot biomechanics and translation of research? Epidemiology may serve as a bridge between our current knowledge base and how to grow this foundation to the next level of insights and interventions in the 21st century. Such a focus will encourage the integration of our knowledge of biomechanics and movement with "Big Data" collections, taking our field to the next level.