The current literature includes several in vitro cadaveric and computational models, as well as image-based biomechanical analyses of normal in vivo function, that contribute to our understanding of the foot and ankle. This review discusses the most important of these basic science investigations. In vitro models continue to elucidate the kinematic behavior of the normal, injured, and repaired ankle and subtalar joints. The effects of posterior tibial tendon insufficiency and the procedures used to address the resultant pes planus are also areas of current focus. Recent advances in in vivo imaging techniques are being applied with increasing frequency to the foot and ankle and are expanding our knowledge of internal function. Measurement of plantar pressure for objective assessment of neuropathic feet is gaining widespread use and several basic science studies available in the current literature contribute to our knowledge base in this area as well.
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