Biomechanics of the Ankle

  • Roger A. Mann


The biomechanics of the ankle joint cannot be considered as an isolated entity but, as stated by the late V. T. Inman, should be thought of as the “Joints of the Ankle”. The ankle joint undergoes dorsiflexion and plantar flexion during gait and transmits rotation in the horizontal plane. The transverse rotation which crosses the ankle joint is translated by the subtalar joint into inversion and eversion. This coordinated function of the ankle joint and subtalar joint has been likened to a universal joint. The motion of the subtalar joint in turn controls the transverse tarsal joint (talonavicular and calcaneocuboid joint), which functions as a locking and unlocking mechanism of the midfoot. The interdependency of these joints on one another is why this complex is considered the “Joints of the Ankle.”


Ankle Joint Plantar Flexion Subtalar Joint Heel Strike Longitudinal Arch 
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    Wright DG, Desai ME, Henderson BS (1964) Action of the subtalar and ankle-joint complex during the stance phase of walking. J Bone Joint Surg 46: A361Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger A. Mann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of California School of MedicineOaklandUSA

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