effect of relative marker movement on the calculation of the foot torsion axis using a combined cardan angle and helical axis approach

The two main movements occurring between the forefoot and rearfoot segment of a human foot are flexion at the metatarsophalangeal joints and torsion in the midfoot. The location of the torsion axis within the foot is currently unknown. The purpose of this study was to develop a method based on Cardan angles and the finite helical axis approach to calculate the torsion axis without the effect of flexion. As the finite helical axis method is susceptible to error due to noise with small helical rotations, a minimal amount of rotation was defined in order to accurately determine the torsion axis location. Using simulation, the location of the axis based on data containing noise was compared to the axis location of data without noise with a one-sample t-test and Fisher’s combined probability score. When using only data with helical rotation of seven degrees or more, the location of the torsion axis based on the data with noise was within 0.2 mm of the reference location. Therefore, the proposed method allowed an accurate calculation of the foot torsion axis location.

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