Book Review


Title: Human Locomotion: The Conservative Management of Gait-Related Disorders
Author: Thomas C. Michaud, DC
Publisher: Newton Biomechanics, 412 pages
Reviewed by: Alicia Foster, MS, CPO

This text was originally planned as an updated version of the previously published text Foot Orthoses and Other Forms of Conservative Foot Care (1993, Williams and Wilkins) with the intention of supplementing the first edition with the latest research and technological advances in three-dimensional gait biomechanics and analysis. Instead it became a stand-alone text, which provides current students and clinicians a foundational analysis of structural and functional anatomy, normal and pathological gait biomechanics, and conservative pedorthic and rehabilitation treatment protocols.

Human Locomotion is separated into eight chapters starting with "Evolution of Bipedality" and concluding with "Treatment Protocols." While the chapters are somewhat lengthy, the Table of Contents is laid out with helpful delineations within each chapter that allow the reader to more readily locate topics of interest.

One of the strengths of this book is the organizational structure of each chapter. The chapter on "Foot Orthotics," for example, is organized the way in which one's workflow might be followed. Not only does it cover casting and fabrication techniques, it also discusses orthotic additions delineated by types of supplemental components of many foot orthoses, dispensing, and problem-solving techniques. Later chapters are divided into specific pathologies and discuss assessment and stretching techniques specific to the patient's condition.

The supporting resources throughout the book include a myriad of highly published and well-respected leaders in their respective fields. Depending upon one's particular view of gait moment or phase distinction, one may take objection to the tendency toward Inman versus Perry, as Inman is utilized as the primary resource when discussing gait biomechanics. However, both resources are utilized throughout this text, which supplements the foundational understanding nicely. Furthermore, the discussion of gait motion analysis thoroughly discusses all planes of motion, particularly with regard to the intricate motions seen in the ankle/foot complex due to the complexities with respect to the inherent axes of rotation.

Summary: This text provides clinicians, particularly those concerned with podiatric pathologies, with a solid foundation of and an analytic approach to gait biomechanics and motion analysis. It provides a structured and well-organized approach to the complexities of orthotic management with supporting treatment protocols as they relate to gait disorders.

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