Background: The rearfoot motion during sports activities in patients with the medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is unknown. This study aimed to investigate the difference in kinematics of the rearfoot in MTSS patients (eight male soccer players) and control participants (eight male soccer players) during a forward step. Methods: Sixteen male soccer players, including eight players with MTSS, participated. Forward step trials were recorded with cineradiographic images obtained at a sampling rate of 60 Hz. Geometric bone models of the tibia and talus/calcaneus were created from computed tomography scans of the distal part of one lower limb. Following a combination of approaches, anatomical coordinate systems were embedded in each bone model. The talocrural joint motion (relative motion of the talus with respect to the tibia) and subtalar joint motion (relative motion of the calcaneus with respect to the talus) were examined. Results: A significantly larger range of internal/external rotation and inversion/eversion motion was observed in the subtalar joint of MTSS patients compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05) from heel contact to heel off. There were no significant differences between the MTSS patients and healthy participants in the ranges of all talocrural joint angles during the forward step. Conclusion: Our results indicate that the range of subtalar joint motion is greater in patients with MTSS during the stance phase of the forward step. The kinematic results obtained of this study may have important clinical implications and add quantitative data to an in vivo database of MTSS patients.
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