In vitro assessment of a motion-based optimization method for locating the talocrural and subtalar joint axes

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31 Scopus citations


The locations of the joint axes of the ankle complex vary considerably between subjects, yet no noninvasive method with demonstrated accuracy exists for locating these axes. The moments of muscle and ground reaction forces about the joint axes are dependent on axis locations, making knowledge of these locations critical to accurate musculoskeletal modeling of the foot and ankle. The accuracy of a computational optimization method that fits a two-revolute model to measured motion was assessed using computer-generated data, a two-revolute mechanical linkage, and three lower-leg cadaver specimens. Motions were applied to cadaver specimens under axial load while bone-mounted markers attached to the tibia, talus, and calcaneus were tracked using a video-based motion analysis system. Estimates of the talocrural and subtalar axis locations were computed from motions of the calcaneus relative to the tibia using the optimization method. These axes were compared to mean helical axes computed directly from tibia, talus, and calcaneus motions. The optimization method performed well when the motions were computer-generated or measured in the mechanical linkage, with angular differences between optimization and mean helical axes ranging from 1 deg to 5 deg. In the cadaver specimens, however, these differences exceeded 20 deg. Optimization methods that locate the anatomical joint axes of the ankle complex by fitting two revolute joints to measured tibia-calcaneus motions may be limited because of problems arising from non-revolute behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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