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Journal Article (Refereed)
March 2010

Error in the description of foot kinematics due to violation of rigid body assumptions

Nester, C & Liu, A & Ward, E & Howard, D & Cocheba, J & Derrick, T 2010, 'Error in the description of foot kinematics due to violation of rigid body assumptions', Journal of Biomechanics, 43(4), pp.666-672.



Kinematic data from rigid segment foot models inevitably includes errors because the bones within each segment move relative to each other. This study sought to define error in foot kinematic data due to violation of the rigid segment assumption. The research compared kinematic data from 17 different mid and forefoot rigid segment models to kinematic data of the individual bones comprising these segments. Kinematic data from a previous dynamic cadaver model study was used to derive individual bone as well as foot segment kinematics.

Mean and maximum errors due to violation of the rigid body assumption varied greatly between models. The model with least error was the combination of navicular and cuboid (mean errors <=1.3°, average maximum error <=2.4°). Greatest error was seen for the model combining all the ten bones (mean errors <=4.4°, average maximum errors <=6.9°). Based on the errors reported a three segment mid and forefoot model is proposed: (1) Navicular and cuboid, (2) cuneiforms and metatarsals 1, 2 and 3, and (3) metatarsals 4 and 5. However the utility of this model will depend on the precise purpose of the in vivo foot kinematics research study being undertaken.




SEEK Members

External Authors

J Cocheba

E Ward

T Derrick

Publication Details

Journal Name
Journal of Biomechanics