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The University of Southampton

PODY2033 Foot and Ankle Musculoskeletal Pathology

Module Overview

The level 5 Foot and Ankle Musculoskeletal Pathology module provides students with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in musculoskeletal foot and ankle pathology. By building upon previous learning at level 4, students critically evaluate different biomechanical paradigms. They will also undertake, then synthesise and interpret findings of clinical assessments related to foot and ankle musculoskeletal pathology. Formulation of diagnoses and management planning is grounded in contemporary critical analysis of the literature and applied as part of an evidence based approach, utilising measurable outcome criteria.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of musculoskeletal foot and ankle pathology. - Begin the process of critical evaluation of the different biomechanical paradigms. - Demonstrate a problem solving approach to identify and interpret assessment findings in order to formulate diagnoses and implement appropriate podiatric management regimes.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Question the principles underlying the main paradigms of podiatric biomechanics
  • Relate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the aetiological factors, pathological processes, differential diagnoses, assessment and clinical presentation of conditions that affect the structure and function of lower limb and foot.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use a problem solving approach to construct appropriate management regimes, to include the use of various therapeutic techniques that lie within the scope of podiatric practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of reliable and valid data collection techniques related to foot and ankle musculoskeletal pathology.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Carry out reliable and valid clinically relevant data collection related to foot and ankle musculoskeletal pathology.
  • Synthesise and interpret data analysis results related to foot and ankle musculoskeletal pathology.


- Normal ontogeny of the foot and lower limb - Assessments (including joint motion, loading patterns and gait evaluation) and investigations (including imaging and haematological options) - Biomechanical paradigms and related podiatric terminology - Conditions giving rise to abnormal foot function, including: signs and symptoms, aetiology, pathology and gait - Causes of pain in the midfoot, rearfoot, ankle and lower leg - Management strategies including, pharmacological, mechanical and physical therapies, prescription writing and manufacturing orthoses, chair side appliances - associated contraindications and complications - Critical appraisal techniques - Patient centred outcome evaluation

Special Features

- Key features of the module include lectures, seminars and practical workshops led by an experienced specialist clinician. - Biomechanical and gait analysis sessions utilise traditional clinical and technical (to include 3D kinematics and foot pressure measurements) methods and feature input from a Senior Research Fellow in musculoskeletal biomechanics. - Further strong links to ongoing research are promoted via input form Clinical Academic Doctoral Fellows, masters and doctoral students with related areas of research. - Input from industry offers insight into gait analysis equipment suitable for the clinical environment and applied material sciences. - The overarching philosophy of the module encourages and promotes a questioning and evaluative approach to musculoskeletal podiatry, encompassing lifelong learning and the quest for excellence.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Keynote lectures will ensure coverage of specific topics and will be supported by clearly identified indicative reading. The presentation of appropriate clinical case histories will be used to investigate issues and topics covered in this module and will be further supported by seminars, debates, group work, problem based learning, videos and slides. Practical sessions will allow students to integrate the associated skill elements.

Independent Study139.5
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Mooney J (2009). Illustrated Dictionary of Podiatry and Foot Science.. 

THOMSON C & GIBSON AJN (2009). 50+ Foot challenges.. 

HELLIWELL, P, WOODBURN J, REDMOND A, TURNER D, & DAVYS (2007). The Foot and Ankle in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Comprehensive Guide,. 

Menz H (2008). Foot Problems in Older People: Assessment and Management.. 



In-class formative opportunities


MethodPercentage contribution
Modified Essay Questions (MEQs)  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no additional costs associated with this module

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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