Osteoarthritis sufferers commonly have first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) problems in which articular surfaces are changed permanently due to fatigue. Therefore, medical devices for early diagnosis would increase the opportunity for prevention of disease progression. In previous studies on stiffness of the first MTPJ many details, although functionally of great importance, have not been fully considered including: design and size of the device, tribology consideration, and errors from device. Therefore, the motivation of our research was to enhance the device design by reducing the size of the device, and device design was enhanced by minimizing measurement errors through development of a new ergonomic left and right foot instrument located medial to the first MTPJ (instead of beneath the foot). The first MTPJ stiffness (N mm/kg radian) measurement was taken on 28 subjects with two replicates per subject by the same tester. The first MTPJ stiffness ranged from 3.49 to 14.42 N mm/kg radian with the mean (SD) value of 8.28 (3.15) N mm/kg radian for the left feet and 3.91 to 11.90 N mm/kg radian with the mean (SD) value of 7.65 (2.07) N mm/kg radian for the right feet. Reliability evaluation was measured using intraclass correlation coefficient and described an excellent reliability between two tests.

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