Lower limb injuries in soldiers: feasibility of reduction through implementation of a novel orthotic screening protocol

Mil Med. 2011 Mar;176(3):291-6. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-10-00352.


At any one time, 10% of personnel within the New Zealand Army are affected by injuries caused by inadequate footwear. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of addressing this problem by orthotic issue on the basis of a novel screening protocol. A total of 909 military personnel were included in this study. Data were collected over 3 months, and injuries of interest included stress fractures of the lower limb, foot, or back; chronic pain or discomfort in the hip, knee, or lower back; overuse injury in the ankle, knee, or hip; and plantar fasciitis. A novel screening protocol was used to prescribe orthotics (n = 47/102) as a preventative measure in a cohort of recruits. All injuries were significantly reduced (p = 0.000) in the intervention group compared to control, with the exception of stress fracture of the femur and overuse lower limb injury (p = 0.106 and p = 0.108, respectively).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Fractures, Stress / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / injuries*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Military Personnel*
  • New Zealand
  • Orthotic Devices*