An in vitro and finite element study of load redistribution in the midfoot

Wen Xin Niu, Ting Ting Tang, Ming Zhang, Cheng Hua Jiang, Yu Bo Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A good knowledge of midfoot biomechanics is important in understanding the biomechanics of the entire foot, but it has never been investigated thoroughly in the literature. This study carried out in vitro experiments and finite element analysis to investigate the midfoot biomechanics. A foot-ankle finite element model simulating the mid-stance phase of the normal gait was developed and the model validated in in vitro experimental tests. Experiments used seven in vitro samples of fresh human cadavers. The simulation found that the first principal stress peaks of all midfoot bones occurred at the navicular bone and that the tensile force of the spring ligament was greater than that of any other ligament. The experiments showed that the longitudinal strain acting on the medial cuneiform bone was −26.2±10.8 μ-strain, and the navicular strain was −240.0±169.1 μ-strain along the longitudinal direction and 65.1±25.8 μ-strain along the transverse direction. The anatomical position and the spring ligament both result in higher shear stress in the navicular bone. The load from the ankle joint to five branches of the forefoot is redistributed among the cuneiforms and cuboid bones. Further studies on the mechanism of loading redistribution will be helpful in understanding the biomechanics of the entire foot.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1196
Number of pages6
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014


  • biomechanics
  • cadaveric experiment
  • finite element analysis
  • foot arch
  • midfoot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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