Is Podiatry in Need of a New Normal?

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Is Podiatry in Need of a New Normal?

In honor of our upcoming participation at the American Podiatric Medical Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Orlando, we are weighing in on an interesting article written by Dr. Kevin A. Kirby, DPM.

“What is a normal foot?” in an April 2015 issue of Podiatry Today discussed what determines a “normal” or “abnormal” foot. Dr. Kirby emphasized that there is no generalized definition, as each individual podiatrist might have a varying concept of “normal”; as is so often the case in using this broad-reaching term in any scientific arena.

A textbook from the 70’s, Biomechanical Examination of the Foot, Volume 1, details criteria that are still widely used by podiatrists today. However, there is no strong scientific research to support and solidify these criteria. Because each person can be so physically distinctive, there is much disagreement regarding normalcy when it comes to foot structure and function.

Dr. Kirby suggests that, perhaps, the terms shouldn’t be used at all. Other specialties do not refer to an absolute number to determine what is or isn’t normal. According to Dr. Kirby, “the rest of the medical world realizes that due to the diversity within the human population, there exists a range of measurable biological parameters within which individuals can live and function without disease or disability.” He asserts that it is high time for podiatry to follow suit. This cannot be treated as a one-size-fits-all type of situation.

The discussion has actually been going on for over a decade. The Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association published a similar article back in July of 2000. It is clear that much more time and research must be dedicated to learning what constitutes “normal” before it can be truly defined.

View Dr. Kirby’s full article at: and don’t forget to visit our experts July 23rd – 26th at booth #1025!

Author: Apoorva Anupindi