Clinical determination of the linear equation for the subtalar joint axis

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  • 1 College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA 50312.
  • | 2 College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA 50312.
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The authors present a methodology to measure the frontal plane angular and linear displacement and the transverse plane angular displacement of subtalar joint movement. This method is combined with a modification of the Kirby method for determining the transverse plane projection of the subtalar joint axis onto the plantar foot. A mathematical model is then used to construct the subtalar joint axis into a three-dimensional linear equation. Data are obtained from an in vivo series of 62 feet that indicates that within acceptable clinical errors of measurement the subtalar joint is a ginglymus type of joint that moves around a single fixed axis. Results also indicate that the subtalar joint axis is more superior and lateral to the neutral foot than any previous studies on cadaver feet have shown. Finally, the authors show that once the subtalar joint axis can be accurately located, the torque on the joint axis produced by ground reactive forces and muscular forces can be computed.