Calcaneus secundarius: Description and frequency in six skeletal samples



The calcaneus secundarius (CS) is a small accessory ossicle of the anterior calcaneal facet. A sample of 1,367 calcanei including early 20th century U.S. blacks and whites, XIIth Dynasty Egyptians, Islamic Period Bahrainis, and protohistoric American Indians from two states were examined to determine the frequency of this nonmetric trait. Statistical testing of the correlation of the trait with sex could only be performed on the blacks and whites, a documented cadaver collection. Tests of χ2 indicated that, although sex differences were insignificant, significant group (not necessarily racial or geographical) differences existed at the .05 level. There was no correlation of side dominance in the overall sample, although significant population differences existed. The trait frequencies of the black and white samples were more similar to one another than to the nonindustrial groups who, in turn, were more similar to each other than to the Terry sample. The findings suggest that a CS is of genetic or congenital origin resulting in a secondary center of ossification in the anterior calcaneal facet.