Biomechanics of the normal and abnormal foot

KA Kirby Department of Podiatric Biomechanics, California College of Podiatric Medicine, Sacramento 95816, USA.

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The foot is an engineering marvel that allows the body to perform many physical activities over a wide variety of terrain with remarkable efficiency. The functions of the foot and the lower extremity are biomechanically integrated; thus normal lower-extremity function requires normal foot function and vice versa. Because the subtalar joint is the main pedal joint allowing the triplanar translation of motion between the foot and lower extremity, normal subtalar joint function is critical to normal foot and lower-extremity function. This article provides an overview of the interrelationships between foot and lower-extremity function and mechanically based pathology of the foot and lower extremity, with an emphasis on the subtalar joint.