The biomechanical relationship between the tendoachilles, plantar fascia and metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion angle

Foot Ankle Int. 2000 Jan;21(1):18-25. doi: 10.1177/107110070002100104.


We carried out an experiment to measure the relationship between tensile force in the tendoachilles and plantar fascia strain, and how this relationship is affected by the metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion angle. Eight cadaver lower extremity specimens underwent biomechanical testing. Using a servo-hydraulic testing machine, a tensile force up to 500 N was applied to the tendoachilles while the strain on the plantar fascia was measured using an extensometer. The experiment was repeated at four different metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion angles (0 degrees, 5 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45 degrees). Measurements and calculations showed that dorsiflexion of the toes tightens the plantar fascia (the windlass effect) and increases the effect that a tensile force in the tendoachilles has on the tensile strain and tensile force in the plantar fascia.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cadaver
  • Fascia / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mathematics
  • Metatarsophalangeal Joint / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Pliability
  • Research Design
  • Toes / physiology