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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 06




Recalcitrant Flexor Hallucis Longus Dysfunction: A Case Study Demonstrating the Successful Application of an Adaptable Rehabilitation Program With a Two-Year Follow-Up.


Flexor hallucis longus (FHL) dysfunction is a condition experienced primarily by athletes, including ballet dancers and runners. Accurate diagnosis and definitive treatment at the initial evaluation can often be difficult given the number of foot and ankle pathologies that share similar signs and symptoms. The evaluation process tends to be a diagnosis of inclusion rather than a specific pathology with an accepted rehabilitation plan. For example, patients with medial arch pain may undergo an extended rehabilitation period with an evolving differential diagnosis requiring several treatment modifications. A more appropriate rehabilitation paradigm should adapt to the potential changes in patient symptoms and presentation, addressing functional impairments as they arise. This case study describes the successful management of a patient with chronic FHL dysfunction, leveraging a flexible, multimodal treatment approach to address the evolving functional impairments rather than focusing on a single, discrete diagnosis. At a two-year follow-up, the patient remains pain-free.