Moment arms of the ankle throughout the range of motion in three planes

Matthew B.A. McCullough, Stacie I. Ringleb, Kenichiro Arai, Harold B. Kitaoka, Kenton R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The moment, a force applied at a distance, is responsible for movement and balance. A key component of the moment is the moment arm. The moment arms of nine muscles surrounding the ankle complex during motion in three planes, were studied. Materials and Methods: Five cadaveric feet were mounted in a testing device that created moments in the sagittal, coronal and transverse planes. Axial and tendon loads were applied as the foot was passively moved in these planes. Tendon excursions and bone kinematics were monitored. The moment arm was calculated using the tendon excursion method and averaged across all specimens. Results: The largest average moment arm during plantarflexion/ dorsiflexion, was the Achilles (mean, 53.1; SD, 5.1 mm). During internal/external rotation the largest moment arm was the peroneus brevis (mean, 20.5; SD, 6.4 mm). During inversion/eversion, the largest moment arm was the peroneus longus (31 mm; SD, 2.3 mm). Conclusion: This study quantified the functional moment arms of nine tendons of the ankle/foot. The involvement of multiple tendons in multiple planes of motion should be considered in computational models and when deciding treatments. Clinical Relevance: The correlation between moment arms and muscle function has significant effects on treatment efficacy. Information on the balance of moments around the ankle will assist in achieving optimal biomechanical behavior following operative treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Ankle
  • Biomechanics
  • Moment arms
  • Tendons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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