Background Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease characterized by an excessive collagen production, fibrotic changes in the skin, internal organs, and vascular involvement. Patients with SSc may have pathological changes in their joints, especially in feet that enclosed: flat feet, valgus or varus foot, hallux valgus, tendinopathy, foot ulcers, joint space narrowing, joint subluxation and degenerative changes [1, 2].
Objectives The aim of the study was to assess occurrence and the severity of lesions and deformities of spine and joints of lower limbs, especially of feet, in patients with SSc, in comparison to the healthy volunteers.
Methods All subject have anamnesis, anthropometric tests, and feet assessment with the computer podometric measuring system.
Results The study enclosed 53 patients with SSc (69.8% female) in mean age 55±12 and 65 healthy volunteers (53.8% female) in mean age 45±15. Disease duration median was 3 years (IQR =6). In comparison to healthy volunteers, patients with SSc have more frequent flat feet and pes valgus (p<0.001) – Figure 1. No significant differences (p=0.96) were observed in round back (8% both groups) and round-concave back (28% vs. 30%) occurrence. Patients with SSc have diminished spine mobility (15.06±5.52 vs. 26.09±6.52 [cm]; p<0.001), to small knee-joint and ankle flexion/extension regardless of body side, more often hallux valgus and longitudinal flat foot. No differences were observed in transverse flat foot and heel varus/valgus occurrence.
Conclusions Patients with SSc have a relatively high prevalence of feet pathological deformities and a smaller range of flexion of the joints than the lowest normal range, but mostly normal curvature of the spine.
La Montagna G, Baruffo A, Tirri R, Buono G, Valentini G: Foot involvement in systemic sclerosis: A longitudinal study of 100 patients. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2002, 31(4): 248–255.
Sari-Kouzel H, Hutchinson CE, Middleton A, Webb F, Moore T, Griffin K, Herrick AL: Foot problems in patients with systemic sclerosis. Br Soc for Rheumatol 2001, 40: 410–413.
Disclosure of Interest None declared