Importance of plantar flexion

The author perspective during study:

Ankle plantarflexion contractures are associated with an increase in knee extension during stance phase. However, some people with simulated ankle contractures may walk with an increase in knee flexion instead. Ankle plantarflexion contractures also adversely affect gait velocity, step length and cadence.

How this study helps in your Clinical practice:

one must gain posterior length through anterior strength, lose the strength, lose the length.”

The plantar flexors have been shown to be important contributors to satisfying the mechanical energetic demands of walking and are the primary contributors to the observed ground reaction forces during the propulsion phase

Impaired ankle plantar flexor function is a frequent cause of gait limitations.

We continually seem to be restrict on ankle rocker and ankle dorsiflexion. however, ankle plantarflexion is as crucial as dorsi flexion.This studies went off of plantarflexion contracture, however we see shortness the gastroc and soleus all of the time, it seems in fact to go along with lack of anterior compartment weakness, which is in essence, a functional lack of ankle rocker.

Normally these 2 both inside the same shopping bag. This is not to say that shortness, tightness or contracture are the same element, in fact they are on completely one-of-a-kind spectrums. but, losing “posterior mechanism” length (brief, tight or contracture), for some purpose will do many potentially things to one’s gait cycle and biomechanics.

From our own clinical reasoning,when plantar flexion restricted, there is tendency in direction of 

  • Knee extension,
  • Knee flexion accomodation,
  • Early heel rise,
  • Abrupt departure from the limb
  • Accelerated forefoot loading problems
  • Toe clenching,
  • Loss of hip extension,
  • Impaired hip extension,
  • possible accelerated PF joint compression

Modifications in step and stride length and step width are just compensated during gait cycle. Above check list will help you to find out where body is compancated while walking.

Any questions feel free to us….


The impact of simulated ankle plantarflexion contracture on the knee joint during stance phase of gait: A within-subject study
Joan Leung, Richard Smith, Lisa Anne Harvey. Anne M. Moseley, Clinical Biomechanics. Volume 29, Issue 4, April 2014, Pages 423-428