Study on the three-dimensional orientation of the posterior facet of the subtalar joint using simulated weight-bearing CT

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The purpose of this study was to describe the normal 3D orientation and shape of the subtalar calcaneal posterior facet. This is not adequately described in current literature. In a supine position both feet of 20 healthy subjects were imaged in a simulated weight-bearing CT. A cylinder and plane were fitted to the posterior facet of the surface model. The orientation of both shapes was expressed by two angles in (1) the CT-based coordinate system with the axis of the foot aligned with the sagittal axis and (2) a coordinate system based on the geometric principal axes of the subject's calcaneus. The subtalar vertical angle was determined in the intersection in three different coronal planes of the cylinder. The cylinder's axis oriented from supero-postero-laterally to infero-antero-medially. The plane's normal directed supero-antero-medially in the CT-based coordinate system, and supero-antero-laterally in the other coordinate system. The subtalar vertical angle was significantly different (p < 0.001) between the three defined coronal planes and increased from anterior to posterior. The mean diameter of the fitted cylinder was 42.0 ± 7.7 mm and the root mean square error was 0.5 ± 0.1 mm. The posterior facet can be modelled as a segment of a cylinder with a supero-postero-lateral to infero-antero-medial orientation. The morphometry of the posterior facet in a healthy population serves as a reference in identifying abnormal subtalar joint morphology. More generally this study shows the need to include the full 3D morphology in assessing the orientation of the subtalar posterior facet. © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 9999:1–8, 2018.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
JournalJournal of orthopaedic research
Issue number1
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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