Treatment of Foot Pain and Osteoarthritis Study

Project Details

Foot pain is a common health problem, particularly for people aged over 40. The problem leads to chronic pain, problems with daily activities such as walking and reduced quality of life. In nearly two thirds of cases, the problem is due to foot osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the joints of the foot resulting in pain and problems with movements such as walking. As there is no cure for osteoarthritis, in most cases the problem tends to worsen over time. Therefore, there is a need for effective treatments that reduce pain and improve function for people with foot osteoarthritis.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate different treatments for foot osteoarthritis, and examine their effects on foot pain and physical function. Outcomes will be used to influence future international clinical guidelines for the management of foot osteoarthritis and to help us design longer term clinical trials.

Who can participate?

You can participate in the study if you:

* Are aged over 40 years,
* Have osteoarthritis and pain in one or more foot joints,
* Have existing x-rays of the affected foot taken some time with previous two years, or a willingness to have new x-rays taken,
* Are willing to have an MRI of the affected foot and to attend our laboratory for a walking assessment, and
* Are willing to take part in a 12 week trial evaluating your foot osteoarthritis.

What will you have to do?

Briefly, we will conduct an initial phone screening, and possibly a foot x-ray, to firstly check that you are eligible. If you are, you will be required to have an MRI scan of your foot and then to come in to our Human Movement Laboratory at the University of Melbourne for testing that will take between one and a half and two hours. At our laboratory, you will complete a series of questionnaires, some simple clinical assessments such as height, weight and foot posture, and a walking assessment. You will then be randomly allocated to receive one of two different treatments for your foot osteoarthritis. Both treatments are currently widely used, and have been chosen based on expert feedback from general practitioners, podiatrists and physiotherapists from around Australia. We will not be able to tell you what the other treatment group received until after the completion of the study. After 3 months, we will repeat the MRI scan, administer the questionnaires again and repeat the walking assessment at the University of Melbourne. During the 3 month study, monthly logbooks will allow you to register adherence to treatment.

What to do next?

* If you would like to find out more, register your interest by phoning Dr Kade Paterson on (03) 8344 0425 or email on



La Trobe University

  • Prof Hylton Menz

University of Queensland

  • Prof Bill Vicenzino
  • Prof David Hunter
  • Prof Paul Hodges


Arthritis Australia

Australian Podiatry Education and Research Fund

Research Group

Musculoskeletal and Sports Rehabilitation

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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