The use of a working model for teaching functional and applied surgical anatomy of the subtalar joint

Benjamin Joseph, Gleeson Rebello, Sreemathi Mayya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Some aspects of functional and applied anatomy may be difficult to conceptualize if taught by conventional methods. In such situations, alternative methods of teaching may need to be adopted. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether a working model can facilitate understanding of the functional and applied surgical anatomy of the subtalar joint. Methods: A working model of the articulated talus and calcaneus was constructed and used to explain the mechanics of motion of the subtalar joint, the rationale of release of structures to correct hindfoot deformity in clubfoot, principles of tendon transfers, and the rationale of extra-articular subtalar joint arthrodesis. Twenty-four orthopedic residents were divided into two groups (A and B). Group A was taught these specific concepts of functional and applied anatomy with the help of the model, while Group B was taught the same concepts with a written text and diagrams. The level of knowledge of both groups was evaluated by a test with multiple-choice questions. A week later, Group A was given the text while Group B was shown the model. Both groups then answered a questionnaire assessing the value of the model in enhancing their understanding of the subject. Results: In the test, the performance of students in Group A was better than those in Group B. Students of both groups felt that the model gave them a much clearer understanding of the functional anatomy of the subtalar joint. Conclusions: We conclude that this simple, inexpensive model is a valuable teaching aid that helps students to understand the surgical anatomy of the subtalar joint. Clinical relevance: Surgeons can use this model to effectively teach trainees in this field about the mechanics and anatomy of the subtalar joint and other relevant applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-292
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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