View Full Version : responses to foot length and ankle ROM

Robert R. Gustavson
12-06-1996, 01:04 AM
Here are the responses so far:
Thanks to everyone who supplied information.

Inman, VT The Joints of the Ankle Williams and Wilkins 1976
Singh, A., Starkweather, K., Jatana, S., Hollister, A.M., Lupichuk,
A.G.: The Kinematics of the Ankle: A Hinge Axis Model. Foot and
Ankle, Vol. 13, No. 8, pp. 439-446, October 1992.

Anne Hollister, MD
LSUMC-S / Orthopaedic Surgery
1501 Kings Hwy.
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932
email: anne@www.ortho.lsumc.edu

With regards to the average adult male foot length, you should find
the following reference to be helpful:

Hawes, M.R. and Sovak, D. (1994). Quantitative morphology of the
human foot in a North American population. Ergonomics 37(7):

Marvin Bauman
Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
N1G 2W1

Crandall, J. R.; Portier, L.; Petit, P.; Hall, G. W.; Klopp, G.S.;
Bass, C. R.; Hurwitz, S.; Trosseille, X.; Tarriere, C., Pilkey, W. D.;
Lavaste, F.; Lassau, M.; "Biomechanical Response and Physcial
Properties of the Leg, Foot, and Ankle" Proc. of 39th Stapp Car Crash
Conference, Paper 962424, Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale,
PA; Nov. 1996 pp 173-192

Table 1. Dimensions on the human foot and ankle.
REF Measurement Study Dimension (cm)
A Foot Length UVA 24.4 +/- 1.5
B Ball length (heel to head of 5th metatarsal) Diffrient
16.3 C Heel Width Parham 7.0 +/- 0.44 D Ball length
(heel to head of 1st metatarsal) Diffrient 19.6 E Foot
Breadth at metatarsal-phalangeal joints Parham 10.5 +/- 0.56 F
Medial Malleolus Height from head to floor Medial Malleolus Height
from tip to floor UVA Renault 8.3 +/- 1.1 8.3 * 1.3 G Lateral
Malleolus Height from head to floor Lateral Malleolus Height from
tip to floor Parham Renault 7.2 +/- 0.29 6.9 * 1.2 H Ankle
width at level of medial malleolus Diffrient 7.6 I
Soft tissue thickness from posterior heel to calcaneus Renault 0.8 *
0.4 J Soft tissue thickness from distal heel to calcaneus
Renault 1.6 * 0.4 K Plantar Arch Height from floor Parham 3.03
+/- 0.60 L Ankle Length from heel to front of ankle (tibia)
Parham 10.8 +/- 0.72 M Heel to head of lateral malleolus
Diffrient 6.6 O Tibial Height from distal heel to tibial
medial margin UVA 47.0 +/- 4.07

Regarding the range of motion for the ankle, it is highly dependent on
the angle of the knee since the Achilles attaches to the gastrocnemius
muscle which in turn inserts above the knee at the distal femur. With
the knee extended, we saw about 15 degrees of dorsiflexion. With the
knee flexed, we observed up to 45 degrees of dorsiflexion. The graphs
are provided in the paper.

As far as sagital plane motion - there is no pure sagital motion, the
axis is oblique and often described as tri-planar. But the motions of
dorsi and plantar flexion are close.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Method of Measuring and
Recording. AAOS, Chicago, 1965. DF = 0 to 20 degrees PF = o to 50

Hoppenfeld, S: Physical Examination of the Spine and Extremities.
Appleton Century-Crofts, NY, 1976 DF = 0 to 20 degrees PF = 0 to 50

American Medical Association: Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent
Impairment. AMA, Chicago 1988. DF = 0 to 20 degrees PF = 0 to 40
There was a paper presented at the 1996 Stapp Car Crash Conference by
Jeff Crandall from the University of Virginia. The paper was titled
Biomechanical Response and Physical Properties of the Leg, Foot, and
Ankle. The proceedings are published by the Society of Automotive
Engineers and it is paper number SAE 962424. The paper has a table
with a number of average measurements of the foot. The average foot
length for 39 male subjects was 24.4 +/- 1.5 cm.

Concerning the range of motion, I'll quote a few sentences out of the
proceedings of a lower extremity injury conference that we hosted
about a year ago.

- The natural range of motion (ROM) was defined as the angle at 10 N-m
(without any Achilles load - isolated cadaver legs). The natural ROM
was 25 degrees in dorsiflexion, 40 degrees in plantarflexion, 15
degrees in inversion, and 9 degrees in eversion. The reference for
this is

Tarriere C and Viano D. Biomechanical synthesis of new data on human
lower leg responses and tolerances in parallel with dummies and injury
criteria. International Conference on Pelvic and Lower Extremity
Injuries, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.
Department of Transportation, pp. 153-160, December, 1995.

I have high confidence in the accuracy of the foot length number. The
range of motion numbers you might want to check against some other
numbers. Keep in mind that the numbers given were measured from
disarticulated cadaver legs.

- Mike Kleinberger


Dr. Michael Kleinberger
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Crashworthiness Research
Biomechanics Research Division

E-mail: mkleinberger@nhtsa.dot.gov

ry checking The Anthropometric Source Book which is a NASA
publication around 1978.

Beth Todd

Dr. Beth A. Todd
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Box 870276
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0276
fax: (205)348-6419
Robert R. Gustavson
Associate Professor and Head Soccer Coach
John Brown University
Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761
office phone: 501-524-7321
office fax: 501-524-7412