Changes in length of the plantar aponeurosis during the stance phase of gait--an in vivo dynamic fluoroscopic study

Fessel, Gion and Jacob, Hilaire A. C. and Wyss, Christian and Mittlmeier, Thomas and Müller-Gerbl, Magdalena and Buttner, Andreas. (2014) Changes in length of the plantar aponeurosis during the stance phase of gait--an in vivo dynamic fluoroscopic study. Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger , 196 (6). pp. 471-478.

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In locomotion, ligaments and muscles have been recognized to support the arch of the foot. However, it remains unclear to what extent the passive and active structures of the lower extremity support the longitudinal arch of the foot during walking. In this study, the mechanical function of the plantar aponeurosis (PA) is investigated by elongation measurements in vivo during the stance phase of gait, in combination with measurements of the mechanical properties of the PA in vitro. Fluoroscopy was used to measure the dynamic changes in PA length and the angular motion of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the first ray, measured during the stance phase (StPh) in 11 feet. Simultaneously, ground forces were measured. Additionally, four cadaver feet delivered topographic information relating to the PA, and three autopsy specimens of PA served to determine the in vitro mechanical properties of PA. The present study revealed a non-significant peak average PA shortening of 0.48% at about 32.5% StPh, followed by a significant average peak elongation of 3.6% at 77.5% StPh. This average peak elongation of 3.6% corresponds to a force of 292N, as estimated by mechanical testing of the autopsy PA specimens. Considering the maximum peak elongation measured in one volunteer of 4.8% at 76% StPh, a peak PA load of 488N might be expected. Hence, with an average body weight of 751N, as allocated to the 11 investigated feet, this maximum peak force would correspond to about 0.65xbody weight. As far as we are aware, this is the first report on a dynamic fluoroscopic study of the PA in gait with an appreciable number of feet (11 feet). In conclusion, muscles contribute to support of the longitudinal arch of the foot and can possibly relax the PA during gait. The 'windlass effect' for support of the arch in this context is therefore questionable.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Division of Anatomy > Musculosceletal Research (Müller-Gerbl)
UniBasel Contributors:Müller-Gerbl, Magdalena
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 Aug 2020 11:41
Deposited On:04 Aug 2020 11:41

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