Influence of kinematic analysis methods on detecting ankle and subtalar joint instability

Julie Choisne, Stacie I. Ringleb, Michael A. Samaan, Sebastian Y. Bawab, Dayanand Naik, Claude D. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Patients with subtalar joint instability may be misdiagnosed with ankle instability, which may lead to chronic instability at the subtalar joint. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference in kinematics after ligament sectioning and differentiate the changes in kinematics between ankle and subtalar instability. Three methods may be used to determine the joint kinematics; the Euler angles, the Joint Coordinate System (JCS) and the helical axis (HA). The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of using either method to detect subtalar and ankle joints instability. 3D kinematics at the ankle and subtalar joint were analyzed on 8 cadaveric specimens while the foot was intact and after sequentially sectioning the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), the cervical ligament and the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament (ITCL). Comparison in kinematics calculated from sensor and anatomical landmarks was conducted as well as the influence of Euler angles and JCS rotation sequence (between ISB recommendation and previous research) on the subtalar joint. All data showed a significant increase in inversion when the ITCL was sectioned. There were differences in the data calculated using sensors coordinate systems vs. anatomic coordinate systems. Anatomic coordinate systems were recommended for these calculations. The Euler angle and JCS gave similar results. Differences in Euler angles and JCS sequence lead to the same conclusion in detecting instability at the ankle and subtalar joint. As expected, the HA detected instability in plantarflexion at the ankle joint and in inversion at the subtalar joint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2012


  • Euler angles
  • Helical axis
  • Joint coordinate system
  • Kinematics
  • Subtalar joint instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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