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01-12-2014 | Research | Uitgave 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2014

Electromyography and sonomyography analysis of the tibialis anterior: a cross sectional study

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2014
Maria Ruiz-Muñoz, Antonio I Cuesta-Vargas
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-7-11) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
and Antonio I Cuesta-Vargas contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MRM carried out the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. AICV conceived the study, participated in its design performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Foot dorsiflexion plays an essential role in both controlling balance and human gait. Electromyography (EMG) and sonomyography (SMG) can provide information on several aspects of muscle function. The aim was to establish the relationship between the EMG and SMG variables during isotonic contractions of foot dorsiflexors.


Twenty-seven healthy young adults performed the foot dorsiflexion test on a device designed ad hoc. EMG variables were maximum peak and area under the curve. Muscular architecture variables were muscle thickness and pennation angle. Descriptive statistical analysis, inferential analysis and a multivariate linear regression model were carried out. The confidence level was established with a statistically significant p-value of less than 0.05.


The correlation between EMG variables and SMG variables was r = 0.462 (p < 0.05). The linear regression model to the dependent variable “peak normalized tibialis anterior (TA)” from the independent variables “pennation angle and thickness”, was significant (p = 0.002) with an explained variance of R2 = 0.693 and SEE = 0.16.


There is a significant relationship and degree of contribution between EMG and SMG variables during isotonic contractions of the TA muscle. Our results suggest that EMG and SMG can be feasible tools for monitoring and assessment of foot dorsiflexors. TA muscle parameterization and assessment is relevant in order to know that increased strength accelerates the recovery of lower limb injuries.

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