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March 28, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVI(13):451-452. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410650019003

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This humble member may be likened, mechanically, to an arch of five single boulders of unequal size. The abutments are the calcaneus on one side and the metatarsi on the other, and the thrust which the load on the astragalus exerts on these two points is equalized by the plantar muscles and fascia. As a matter of fact, like the triangular bridge at Croyland, the foot has more than two points of support. The posterior haunch of the arch of the foot is the calcaneus alone, but the anterior haunch divides first into two, then into four, and then into five branches. Not only does the load on this arch vary from moment to moment, but almost every voussoir is subject to strains in many directions from tendons or muscles attached to it. The resultant of these varying factors is a living equilibrated polygon, a living arch.

In every movement

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