The purpose of this study was to evaluate the kinematic changes that occur about the foot and ankle during gait in patients with degenerative joint disease (DJD). By comparing a normal adult population with what was found in the DJD population we determined how the motion of theses groups differed, thereby characterizing how this pathology affects foot and ankle motion. A 15-camera Vicon Motion Analysis System was used in conjunction with weight bearing radiographs to obtain three-dimensional motion of the foot and ankle during ambulation. The study was comprised of 34 patients and 35 ankles diagnosed with DJD (19 men and 15 women) of the ankle and 25 patients with normal ankles (13 men and 12 women). Dynamic foot and ankle motion was analyzed using the four-segment Milwaukee Foot Model (MFM). The data from this model resulted in three-dimensional (3D) kinematic parameters in the sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes as well as spatial-temporal parameters. Patient health status was evaluated using the SF-36 Health Survey and American Orthopaedics Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot scores. The DJD group showed significant differences (p<0.001) as compared to normals with prolonged stance time, shortened stride length, reduced cadence and a walking speed which was only 66.96% of normal. Overall, kinematic data in the DJD cohort showed significant differences (p<0.001) in all planes of motion for tibial, hindfoot and forefoot motion as compared to normals. The average preoperative AOFAS hindfoot score was 26. DJD of the ankle results in decreased range of motion during gait. This decreased range of motion may be related to several factors including bony deformity, muscle weakness, and attempts to decrease the pain associated with weight bearing. To date there has not been a study which describes the effect of this disease process on motion of the foot and ankle. These findings may prove to be useful in the pre-operative assessment of these patients.