With winter upon us, consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in sports injuries and knees, Ian McDermott, warns of potential harm when wearing certain shoes, including the popular UGG boot.
The iconic sheepskin footwear can lack support for the lower limb if people purchase the wrong size or allow the boots to deteriorate, which in turn affects posture and the biomechanics of the body. As often happens, the heel can slip off to the side of the footwear, which then tends to flatten out the arch of the foot and make the foot drift into ‘planovalgus’, otherwise known as flat feet.
Mr McDermott explains: “Planovalgus then tends to increase external rotation and valgus in the tibia, causing a knock-kneed posture, which then increases what’s referred to as the ‘Q-angle’ in the knee, meaning that more weight is put on the outer side of the knee and more strain on the inner side. It also exacerbates lateral patellar maltracking, which is where the kneecap rubs more on the outer side of the front of the knee, causing anterior knee pain and, eventually, increased wear and tear of the articular cartilage on the back of the patella.”
The risk of potential knee damage from poor footwear is significantly increased for people with existing conditions or those with naturally poor lower limb posture.
Mr McDermott continues: “If someone born with an inherently poor structure or with poor alignment then wears a poorly supported pair of shoes or boots, this can exacerbate the whole issue and this can then end up being the final straw that pushes them into developing symptoms and actual orthopaedic problems.”