The dimensions of the tarsal sinus and canal in different foot positions and its clinical implications

R. P. Kleipool*, L. Blankevoort, J. M. Ruijter, G. M.M.J. Kerkhoffs, R. J. Oostra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study presents a reference for the dimensions of the tarsal sinus and canal in healthy adults in different foot positions to facilitate understanding of the kinematics of the subtalar joint, the effect of an implant, and other clinical issues. In a 3D CT stress test on 20 subjects, the right foot was forced into a neutral and eight different extreme foot positions while CT scans were obtained. The bones were segmented in the neutral foot position. The kinematics of the bones in the extreme positions were determined relative to the neutral position. The dimensions of the tarsal sinus and canal were calculated by determining the radii of the maximal inscribed spheres at 20 equidistant locations along an axis in 3D surface models of the tali and calcanei in each foot position. The radii were small on the medial side and increased laterally. Medial from the middle, the radii were small and not significantly different among the various foot positions. At the lateral side, the dimensions were affected mainly by eversion or inversion and less by dorsiflexion or plantarflexion. The pattern was reproducible among subjects, but there were between-subject differences. The dimensions are mostly determined by rotation in the frontal plane. A pivot point was found medial from the middle. These data serve as a reference and model for predicting the effect of sinus implants and understanding such clinical problems as sinus tarsi syndrome. Between-subjects differences have to be taken into account. Clin. Anat. 30:1049–1057, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1057
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

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