Clinically, different foot arch heights are associated with different tissue injuries to the foot. To investigate the possible factors contributing to the difference in foot arch heights, previous studies have mostly measured foot pressure in either low-arched or high-arched feet. However, little information exists on stress variation inside the foot with different arch heights. Therefore, this study aimed to implement the finite element (FE) method to analyse the influence of different foot arches. This study established a 3D foot FE model using software ANSYS 11.0. After validating the FE model, this study created low-arched, high-arched and normal-arched foot FE models. The FE analysis found that both the stress and strain on the plantar fascia and metatarsal were higher in the high-arched foot, whereas the stress and strain on the calcaneous, navicular and cuboid were higher in low-arched foot. Additionally, forefoot pressure was increased with an increase in arch height.
Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering 2012, 15(6),563-569.