The effects of extrinsic muscle forces on the forefoot-to-rearfoot loading relationship in vitro: Tibia and achilles tendon

Erin D. Ward, Robert D. Phillips, Patrick E. Patterson, Guy J. Werkhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The effects of muscular activity on the distribution of forces under the foot, as well as within the foot, are of great importance for determining the mechanisms of foot pathologies. Limited data exist concerning muscle forces during the gait cycle and the effects of muscle forces conveyed to the ground-reactive forces of the foot. The authors developed a cadaveric loading system to determine the effects of force applied to the Achilles tendon on the forefoot-to-rearfoot loading relationship in eight cadaveric specimens. The study indicated that, during axial loading of the tibia, force was inherently transferred from the rearfoot to the forefoot. However, the observed forefoot-to-rearfoot loading relationship did not match the predicted loading relationship from a rigid-body diagram, as would be observed in a class I lever. The results indicated that, as the force was increased on the Achilles tendon, the change in loads on the forefoot and rearfoot was not linear. Specimens with calcaneal inclination angles greater than 20° demonstrated a more linear increase as compared with those with inclination angles less than 20°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-482
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998


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