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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Contact characteristics of the subtalar joint: load distribution between the anterior and posterior facets.

The pressure distribution properties of the normal talocalcaneal joint were studied in 13 fresh cadaver specimens using pressure-sensitive film. The film was inserted into the joint through a posterior approach for the posterior facet and an anteromedial approach for the anterior/middle facet. Specimens, comprising the distal half of the tibia and fibula and the intact ankle and foot, were positioned in neutral in the sagittal plane. In the coronal plane, specimens were positioned in neutral, inversion, or eversion, and the contact characteristics were determined in varying positions, with and without loading the fibula, under axial loads of 350 N, 700 N, 1,050 N, and 1,400 N. The transducers were video imaged for quantitative analysis of area and pressure. The contact/joint area ratio increased significantly with applied load in the posterior facet [e.g., in eversion from 0.336 (SD = 0.195) at 350 N to 0.631 (SD = 0.225) at 700 N], as did the proportion of the contact area greater than 6 MPa, indicating an increase in contact pressure. The contact/joint area ratio was significantly lower in inversion than in any other position of the foot; however, high-pressure zones were similar, indicating that higher pressures occur in inversion. In the anterior/middle facets both contact/joint area ratio and high pressure/contact area ratios increased significantly to 700 N, but not with further load increase. At 350 N the anterior/middle facet contact area was 31% that of the posterior facet, yet it carried 63.3% of the load of the posterior facet, so its mean contact pressure was 1.44 MPa compared with 0.93 MPa for the posterior facet.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Contact characteristics of the subtalar joint: load distribution between the anterior and posterior facets. Wagner, U.A., Sangeorzan, B.J., Harrington, R.M., Tencer, A.F. J. Orthop. Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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