Juliana Yuri Sekyama, Ibsen Bellini Coimbra, Zoraida Sachetto, Ana Paula Toledo Del Rio, Eduardo de Paiva Magalhães

Assessment of foot impairment in systemic sclerosis: a cross-sectional study

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Rheumatology

Abstract Objectives To assess foot function in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) and its association with sociodemographic and clinical factors. To evaluate mobility, foot alterations, foot pain, and foot care in these patients. Methods Consecutive SSc patients underwent structured interviews and physical examinations. Disability was assessed using Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Scleroderma Health Assessment Questionnaire. (SHAQ). Foot function was measured using Foot Function Index (FFI), foot pain using a numeric pain scale (NPS), and mobility using Timed-UP-Go test (TUG). Results 101 patients were included. Forefoot pain was observed in 50.5%, hindfoot pain in 31.7%, foot ulcers in 6.9%, foot plantar callosities in 38.6%, foot arthritis in 2.97%, hallux valgus in 9.9%, claw toes in 5%, and valgus ankle in 3% of patients. The mean FFI was 3.54 (±2.6), NPS was 6.08 (±3.58), and TUG test was 10.52 (±6.5) seconds. Higher FFI scores, increased NPS, and prolonged TUG were associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon severity, SHAQ, and HAQ. 36.6% of patients reported never having their feet examined, and only 32.7% had their feet examined within the past year. Conclusion Foot dysfunction and pain are common in SSc. Higher FFI scores, increased pain, and prolonged TUG duration were linked to disability (HAQ and SHAQ). These analyses should be considered exploratory and require confirmation in external cohorts. Routine foot examinations were lacking in clinical practice. Improved attention for evaluating and caring for the feet in SSc patients is needed.

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