Morphological variations of the human talus investigated using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics.Clin Anat. 2020 Mar 20 [Online ahead of print]CA
The shape of the talus determines the positional and kinematic features of the subtalar, talonavicular, and talocrural joints during walking. Thus, detailed knowledge of the pattern of sexual dimorphism of the human talus may be useful for revealing the pathogenetic mechanism of foot and knee disorders, which are more prevalent in females. The aim of this study was to characterize and visualize the three-dimensional shape variations of the talus in relation to sex and age using geometric morphometrics.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Computed tomography images of 56 feet without talar injuries or disorders were used in this study. Thirty-seven anatomical landmarks were identified on a bone model of the talus to calculate principal components (PCs) of shape variations among specimens. PC scores were compared between sexes, and their correlations with age were also investigated.
The female talus had a longer neck and narrower head width than the male talus. The superior trochlea was tilted more laterally in the frontal plane in females. Furthermore, the female talar head was more twisted and was more elongated in the dorsoplantar direction.
Morphological features of the talus in females could alter the subtalar and talonavicular joint kinematics during walking and could be a structural factor in the pathogenetic mechanism underlying foot and knee disorders. This study contributes to the comprehensive understanding of shape variations in the human talus.