Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 53–64 | Cite as

Radius of curvature at the talocrural joint surface: inference of subject-specific kinematics

  • Shuhei NozakiEmail author
  • Kota Watanabe
  • Takuya Kato
  • Tsuyoshi Miyakawa
  • Tomoaki Kamiya
  • Masaki Katayose
Original Article



The coupled behavior of talocrural joint motion is primarily determined by the morphological features of the talar trochlea and tibiofibular mortise. Features of the radius of curvature of the talocrural joint, however, remain unclear. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the radius of curvature at the mid, medial, and lateral regions of both the talar trochlea and the tibial plafond, and to estimate subject-specific kinematics of the talocrural joint.


Computed tomography images of 44 subjects with healthy talocrural joints were assessed by creating three-dimensional bone models. The radii of curvature of the anterior and posterior regions at the mid, medial, and lateral regions of both the talar trochlea and the tibial plafond were calculated. Hypothetical dorsiflexion and plantarflexion axes of the talocrural joint were estimated from the shape of the talar trochlea. Orientations and distances of these axes were calculated.


At both the talar trochlea and the tibial plafond, the anteromedial and posteromedial radii exhibited the largest coefficients of variation. The anterior-to-posterior radius ratio (APRR) of the medial talar trochlea significantly correlated with the mid APRR, anterior medial-to-lateral radius ratio (MLRR), and posterior MLRR of the trochlea (r = 0.45, 0.52, − 0.60, respectively, and all P < 0.01).


The asymmetric shape of the medial talar trochlea seems to determine a fixed or changing axis of rotation at the talocrural joint. This subject-specific rotational axis of the talocrural joint should be considered in the management of patients with ankle injuries.


Talus Tibia Radius Image-based bone models Translation Sliding 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Tsutomu Horiuchi, Mr. Shinya Owada, and Mr. Taketoshi Tsunemaru from the Department of Imaging Diagnosis at Obihiro Kyokai Hospital for providing computed tomography images. This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid from the Research Committee of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (#15ek0109058h002).

Author contributions

SN: Project development, data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing. KW: Data collection and management, manuscript editing. TK: Data collection, data analysis. TM: Data management, manuscript editing. TK: Data management, manuscript editing. MK: Project development, manuscript editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest with regard to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Sports MedicineHokkaido Obihiro Kyokai HospitalObihiroJapan
  2. 2.Second Division of Physical Therapy, School of Health SciencesSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of MedicineSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan

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