In vitro study of foot kinematics using a dynamic walking cadaver model

C. J. Nester, A. M. Liu, E. Ward, D. Howard, J. Cocheba, T. Derrick, P. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


There is a dearth of information on navicular, cuboid, cuneiform and metatarsal kinematics during walking and our objective was to study the kinematic contributions these bones might make to foot function. A dynamic cadaver model of walking was used to apply forces to cadaver feet and mobilise them in a manner similar to in vivo. Kinematic data were recorded from 13 cadaver feet. Given limitations to the simulation, the data describe what the cadaver feet were capable of in response to the forces applied, rather than exactly how they performed in vivo. The talonavicular joint was more mobile than the calcaneocuboid joint. The range of motion between cuneiforms and navicular was similar to that between talus and navicular. Metatarsals four and five were more mobile relative to the cuboid than metatarsals one, two and three relative to the cuneiforms. This work has confirmed the complexity of rear, mid and forefoot kinematics. The data demonstrate the potential for often-ignored foot joints to contribute significantly to the overall kinematic function of the foot. Previous emphasis on the ankle and sub talar joints as the principal articulating components of the foot has neglected more distal articulations. The results also demonstrate the extent to which the rigid segment assumptions of previous foot kinematics research have over simplified the foot.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1927-1937
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2007


  • Cadaver
  • Foot kinematics
  • Forefoot
  • Mid foot
  • Walking simulator


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