About the Foot & Ankle Disorders Working Group

Foot and ankle disorders are prevalent in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, causing significant pain and disability. In rheumatoid arthritis, foot involvement has been identified as the second most frequent site of symptoms after the hand, and foot pain is reported to occur in up to 80-94% of people with the condition. Foot involvement frequently persists in rheumatoid arthritis, even when clinical remission of disease activity is achieved.

Involvement of the foot also occurs in other types of inflammatory arthropathies; forefoot deformities affect over 90% of people with psoriatic arthritis, with 62% reporting foot pain, and foot involvement is a cardinal feature of gout, affecting 89% of patients. Osteoarthritis is also very common in the foot, affecting one in six people aged 50 and over, and is often characterised by persistent pain and stiffness. Foot disorders in inflammatory and osteoarthritis can lead to functional limitations and a reduction in quality of life.

There must be all sorts of effective treatment options for patients depending on the severity of their condition. From insoles, to physiotherapy, to steroid injections and surgery if necessary. What’s the problem?

Mechanical factors are increasingly thought to have a major role in the persistence of foot pathology in inflammatory and osteoarthritis. However, despite the widespread use of conservative treatments used in clinical practice, there are a lack of high quality clinical trials assessing the efficacy of interventions for foot and ankle disorders.

Furthermore, there is currently no agreed-upon set of standardised outcomes to be measured and reported in trials for foot and ankle disorders in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Outcome measures vary considerably among studies, limiting the ability to compare findings with satisfactory meta-analyses, and outcomes may be selectively reported or lack relevance to patients and clinicians, limiting the implications of study findings for clinical practice.

Is there good news?

Yes! A great group of patient partners, clinicians, researchers and product developers are working together to solve this problem.

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Marian Hannan


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Philip Helliwell


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Hylton Menz


Heidi Siddle

Heidi Siddle


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Lara Chapman


cathis hofstetter

Catherine Hofstetter

Patient Research Partner

Pam Richards

Pam Richards

Patient Research Partner

Foot & Ankle Working Group Summary

Working Group Members:

Dr Heidi Siddle (Europe)
Professor Philip Helliwell (Europe)
Professor Marian Hannan (North America)
Professor Hylton Menz (Australia)
Peter Tugwell
Phil Conaghan
Bev Shea
Lara Maxwell
Dorcas Beaton
Dr John Arnold, Podiatrist and Research Fellow, Australia
Professor Catherine Bowen, Professor of Podiatry and Chair of the International Foot and Ankle OA Consortium, UK
Dr Mark Campbell, Physiatrist and Assistant Professor, Canada
Dr Lindsey Cherry, Podiatrist and Clinical Lecturer, UK
Dr Caroline Flurey, Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, UK
Dr Yvonne Golightly, Physiotherapist and Assistant Professor, USA
Professor Catherine Hill, Rheumatologist, Australia

Dr Shannon Munteanu, Podiatrist and Associate Professor, Australia
Professor Anthony Redmond: Podiatrist and Professor of Clinical Biomechanics, UK
Dr Bethan Richards, Consultant Rheumatologist, Australia and OMERACT Emerging Leaders Programme Lead
Prof Toby Smith
Prof Edward Roddy, Reader in Rheumatology and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, UK
Dr Kathryn Stok: Biomedical Engineer, Australia
Dr Marike van der Leeden, Physiotherapist and Senior Researcher, Netherlands
Richard Wilkins, Podiatrist and Research Fellow
Professor James Woodburn, Podiatrist and Professor of Rehabilitation, Australia
Robert Wonink, Podiatrist and Sonographer, Netherlands
Professor Adam Young, Consultant Rheumatologist, UK
Lara Chapman, Podiatrist and Foot and Ankle Working Group Fellow
Pamela Richards, patient research partner, UK
Cathie Hofstetter, patient research partner and OMERACT TAG, Canada
Anne Lyddiatt, patient research partner, Canada
Dr Ellie Pinsker, Graduate Student, Canada

Dr Richard Wakefield, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Rheumatologist, UK
Dr Jill Halstead-Rastrick, Podiatrist and Research Fellow, UK
Kate Betteridge, patient representative, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, UK
Dr Mike Backhouse, Podiatrist and Research Fellow, UK
Prof Yeliz Prior, Occupational Therapist and Senior Research Fellow, UK
Prof Lindsay Bearne, Senior Lecturer, UK
Dr Tiffany Gill, Physiotherapist and Senior Research Fellow, Australia
Dr Narelle Wyndow, Podiatrist, Tasmania
David Keene, Physiotherapist and Research Fellow, UK
Prof Bill Vicenzino, Professor of Physiotherapy, Australia
Prof Gabriel Gijon, Professor of Podiatry, Spain
Dr Gordon Hendry, Podiatrist and Senior Research Fellow, UK
Dr Michelle Smith, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Australia
Sultan Alanazi, PhD student, Australia
Christopher Drake, Physiotherapist and Research Fellow, UK

Interested in joining the working group as a member?

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