Osteogenic relationship between the lateral plantar process and the peroneal tubercle in the human calcaneus

Authors

  • Corey M. Gill,

    1. Department of Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Department of Anthropology, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Atul K. Taneja,

    1. Department of Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Miriam A. Bredella,

    1. Department of Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Martin Torriani,

    1. Department of Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Jeremy M. DeSilva

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
    • Correspondence

      Jeremy M. DeSilva, Department of Anthropology, Boston University, 232 Bay State Road, #104B, Boston, MA 02215, USA. T: + 1 617 3535026; E: jdesilva@bu.edu

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Abstract

The osteogenic relationship between the lateral plantar process and the peroneal tubercle has been an uncertainty for researchers over several decades. While some argue there to be no developmental relationship between these two calcaneal structures, others have suggested that there is an inverse relationship, the lateral plantar process forming from a part of the peroneal tubercle. However, no previous studies have offered quantitative measurements to test these hypotheses. In this study, we measured the size of the peroneal tubercle, retrotrochlear eminence, and the size and area of the lateral plantar process in 73 subjects using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Navicular height was measured using weight-bearing radiographs as a measurement of longitudinal arch in 35 of these subjects. Age, body mass, and body mass index (BMI) were also recorded for all subjects. We determined that there was a significant positive correlation between the lateral plantar process and size of the peroneal tubercle, body mass, and BMI. Thus, assertions that there is an inverse relationship between the size of the lateral plantar process and the peroneal tubercle are here unfounded. We also determined there to be a positive correlation between the peroneal tubercle and both the size of the retrotrochlear eminence and the height of the navicular. In conclusion, we relate these novel findings to hominin fossil calcanei and discuss the evolutionary and biomechanical implications.

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