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J Biomech. 2008 Dec 5;41(16):3366-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.09.029. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Inversion-eversion moment arms of gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior measured in vivo.

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Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


In this study, the frontal plane moment arms of tibialis anterior (TA) and the lateral and medial heads of gastrocnemius (LG and MG) were determined using ultrasonography of ten healthy subjects. Analysis of variance was performed to investigate the effects of frontal plane angle, muscle activity, and plantarflexion angle on inversion-eversion moment arm for each muscle. The moment arms of each muscle were found to vary with frontal plane angle (all p<0.001). TA and LG exhibited eversion moment arms when the foot was everted, but MG was found to have a slight inversion moment arm in this position. As the ankle rotated from 0 degrees to 20 degrees inversion, the inversion moment arm of each increased, indicating that the three muscles became increasingly effective inverters. In neutral position, the inverter moment arm of MG was greater than that of LG (p=0.001). Muscle activity had a significant effect on both LG and MG moment arm at all frontal plane positions (all p0.005). These results demonstrate the manner in which frontal plane moment arms of gastrocnemius and TA differ across the frontal plane range of motion in healthy subjects. This method for assessing muscle action in vivo used in this study may prove useful for subject-specific planning of surgical treatments for frontal plane foot and ankle deformities.

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