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01-12-2017 | Research | Uitgave 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2017

Coordination among the rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot during walking

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2017
Tomoya Takabayashi, Mutsuaki Edama, Emi Nakamura, Erika Yokoyama, Chiaki Kanaya, Masayoshi Kubo



Examining coordination between segments is essential for prevention and treatment of injuries. However, traditional methods such as ratio, cross-correlation technique, and angle-time plot may not provide a complete understanding of intersegmental coordination. The present study aimed to quantify the coordination among the rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot segments during walking.


Twenty healthy young men walked barefoot on a treadmill. Reflective markers were fixed to their right shank and foot based on the Leardini foot model. Three-dimensional joint angles were calculated at the distal segment, and were expressed relative to the adjacent proximal segment. The coupling angle representing intersegmental coordination was calculated by using the modified vector coding technique, and categorized into the following four coordination patterns: in-phase with proximal dominancy, in-phase with distal dominancy, tanti-phase with proximal dominancy, and anti-phase with distal dominancy.


The results showed that the midfoot was dominantly everted compared with the rearfoot and forefoot during the early stance (i.e., the rearfoot-midfoot coordination and midfoot-forefoot coordination were mainly in-phase with distal and proximal dominancy, respectively).


This result may suggest that the midfoot plays a more significant role than the rearfoot and forefoot during early stance. The results of the present study can help in understanding the interaction of the intersegmental foot kinematic time series during walking. The results could be used as data to distinguish the presence of injuries or abnormal inter-segmental foot motions such as pes planus. Additionally, these data might be used in the future in a comparison with data on foot deformities.

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