Multibody modelling of the foot for the biomechanical analysis of the ankle joint during running: A narrative review

Goncalo Marta, Carlos Quental, Joao Folgado, Francisco Guerra-Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The number of people running has risen exponentially in the last decade, increasing the need for better research on running-related injuries, shoe construction and performance enhancement. Considering the key role of the ankle, the second most injured joint after the knee and the only link of the body to the ground, for human motion, the aim of this study is to provide a general overview of generic foot multibody models and their application to the analysis of ankle biomechanics during running. Searches for studies published until February 2021 were performed in scientific databases. The selected studies contemplated original foot multibody models and their running applications. Multibody models of the foot included kinematic and dynamic approaches with the foot being modelled by 3 to 26 segments. Some models have been used to understand the ankle biomechanics regarding running, but most considered only simplified models of the foot. Moreover, their application in the understanding of running mechanics is still very shallow, focusing mainly on the study of joint angle variation and ground reaction forces. This narrative review shows that detailed multibody models of the ankle, which represent its high complexity, are still scarce. An understanding of the different parameters that influence sports performance and injury prevalence has yet to be achieved. Future research should address these topics to create intervention strategies on injury prevention and to maximise sports performance.


  • Foot
  • ankle
  • multibody model
  • running


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