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Phys Ther. 1988 Dec;68(12):1815-21.

Biomechanics of the foot and ankle under static conditions.

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  • Philadelphia Institute for Physical Therapy, PA 19104.


The purpose of this article is to discuss the static mechanics of the foot and ankle. First, the motions of the ankle and foot available during nonambulatory activities are described by reviewing the literature discussing the axes of motion for the ankle and joints of the foot. Conflicting terminology is presented and clarified, and a scheme for a reasonable terminology is presented. The role of the ankle-foot complex in closed and open kinetic chains is also discussed. Terminology describing structural and functional positions of the foot is presented, including definitions of the subtalar neutral position. A systematic format of terminology is offered to reduce the current inconsistencies. Finally, the weight-bearing area of the foot and muscle activity in quiet standing are reviewed.

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