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The Split Second Effect:

The Mechanism of How Equinus Can Damage the Human Foot and Ankle

James Amis, M.D.

J. Amis. The split second effect: The mechanism of how equines can damage the human foot and ankle. Frontiers in Surgery, 3(38), 2016.

The gastrocnemius contracture or equinus is well known to cause the majority of non-traumatic acquired foot and ankle problems. Till now the rapidly mounting evidence has only been an “association”. We know both equinus and let’s say, plantar fasciitis, most often coexist, but how are they related? In other words, how can a calf that is too tight cause all these problems? The split second effect describes in detail exactly how equinus, a calf that has become too tight, can silently and progressively damage an otherwise “normal” human foot.

The split second effect describes in detail exactly how equinus, a calf that has become too tight, can silently and progressively damage an otherwise “normal” human foot. The missing mechanism described by this effect is exactly why my colleagues and people in general have considered equinus as nothing more than a random association. This association can no longer be ignored.

 

  • Where did we come from: the perfect human foot explains

  • What about our unique bipedal (two leg walking) gait leaves us so vulnerable to these damages unlike quadrupeds (four leg walking)

  • There are two critical parts to the split second effect mechanism:

    • the ankle dorsiflexion component

    • the knee extension component

  • And all this damage occurs with every step in just 120 milliseconds or a 10th of a second: a split second

If you ever wondered “Why do I need to stretch my calves?”, this article is for you.

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