3-D Imaging Applied To Foot Structures In Walking

  • R. Therrien
  • D. Farrar
  • J.-P. Cuerrier
Keywords: foot, walking, plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, supination and pronation


Pedagogic and coaching experiments have demonstrated that learning and training difficulties encountered by physical education students, athletes and coaches are frequently related to poor or inadequate 3-D visual representation of human body structures and movement. In order to counteract this important shortcoming, a low cost computer platform including an Amiga 3000T computer, preparation software (Imagine and DCTV) and presentation software, has been developed. The purpose of this study was to generate 3-D objects of the ankle-foot structures and to animate these objects in order to accurately illustrate plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, supination and pronation of the foot as a function of the walking cycle. Using anatomical and biomechanical informations available in literature, this 3-D imaging study has succeeded in producing an interactive software permitting individual as well as large group visualisation (with the use of a video projector) of tibia and fibula interactions with talus, as well as movements of tarsal and metatarsal bones during the different support phases in walking. Positions and roles of ligaments have also been illustrated. Subsequent laboratory experiments have demonstrated that intermediate-term retention of knowledge is favored in teaching when using this computer-assisted technique. Actually, in a test-retest situation, intermediate retention decreased by 10.87% when using traditional teaching; the decrease in retention was only a slight 0.450 /0 when using this 3-D imaging program as a visualisation aid. Sports training and coaching have also benefitted from the use of this tool.
Equipment / Instrumentation