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J Biomech. 1990;23(5):495-501.

In vivo moment arm calculations at the ankle using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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Department of Kinesiology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1568.


In vivo moment arm lengths for the Achilles tendon and tibialis anterior (TA) were determined in 10 adult male subjects. Moment arms were measured as the perpendicular distance between the joint center of rotation (CR) and the center of the muscle's tendon on a series of sagittal plane magnetic resonance images. The first set of calculations used a fixed CR and the second a moving CR. The position of the CR was determined using a modification of the graphical method of Reuleaux. For both moving and fixed CR conditions, moment arms increased by approximately 20% for the Achilles tendon and decreased by approximately 30% for the TA when the ankle moved from maximum dorsiflexion to maximum plantarflexion. Moment arms averaged 3.1% greater for the Achilles tendon and 2.5% greater for the TA when calculated using a fixed CR. These data suggest that the averaged moment arm lengths for the Achilles tendon and the TA were relatively unaffected by the use of a fixed vs moving CR.

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