Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery (Asia Pacific)

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Different Measurement Methods of Heel Pad Thickness and their Clinical Implications: A Narrative Review

Abhijit Bandyopadhyay, Sanjay Kumar

Keywords : Complications, Diagnosis, Heel pad thickness, Magnetic resonance imaging, Ultrasonography

Citation Information : Bandyopadhyay A, Kumar S. Different Measurement Methods of Heel Pad Thickness and their Clinical Implications: A Narrative Review. J Foot Ankle Surg Asia-Pacific 2023; 10 (1):224-228.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10040-1246

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 31-12-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Introduction: The heel pad has an important role in pain-free locomotion due to its shock-attenuation function. Various diagnostic techniques are available to measure heel pad thickness. However, each measurement method makes a different clinical impact on heel pad thickness. Aim of the study: The current study will be aimed to evaluate the clinical impact of different measurement methods on heel pad thickness. Methodology: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines will be used for conducting this systematic review and meta-analysis. Literature searches will be carried out on the following databases, such as Cochrane, Google Scholar, PubMed, EMBASE, and Medline databases with the appropriate key terms. Relevant articles will be chosen for full-text screening after the application of the eligibility criteria. Meta-analysis will be performed using Review Manager 5.3 software. Observations and analysis: The current systematic review and meta-analysis will include all the published studies regarding the impact of different measurement methods on heel pad thickness. Finally, the review will summarize and analyze the results of the included studies to find out the most frequently used measurement methods and their clinical impact. Discussion: Increased heel pad thickness, commonly known as the heel pad sign, is characterized by an increase in the soft tissue thickness of the heel pad on lateral ankle radiographs in a variety of circumstances (Rogers et al., 2022; Morales-Orcajo et al., 2018). Studies on heel pad thickness using nonweight-bearing radiographs have indicated atrophy of the heel pad in elderly, sedentary subjects, while a recent study has demonstrated that ultrasonic heel pad thickness was significantly greater in patients suffering from unilateral displaced intra-articular fractures of the calcaneum at 21–35 months after injury (Lin et al., 2022; Taş, 2018). Conclusion: Different methods like photography, radiography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been used for the measurement of thickness of heel pad. However, ultrasonography and radiographic methods have found the maximum use in clinical applications for individuals with or without health issues. Hence, although the most widely used method is ultrasound due to its safety and efficacy, this is dependent on the requirement and availability of the choice of these methods which may vary.

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