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Feiss line / Supranavicular Angle

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Robertisaacs, Sep 4, 2008.

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    An interesting statement i saw today

    Interesting claim. The evidence that it was more accurate / reliable than, say, the FPI was not quoted.

    I will admit to being ignorant as to what the SNA was. A little digging provided some background information

    The supranavicular angle was first described in
    Norkin, C.C. and Levangie, P.K. (1983) Joint Structure and Function. Philadelphia: Davis.
    As the feiss line. It is comprised of the angle between the 1st met and the navicular and the navicular and the medial malleolus.

    Cashmere, T., Smith, R.and Hunt, A. (1999) Medial longitudinal arch of the foot: stationery versus walking measures. Foot and Ankle International. 20(2), 112-118.

    Went into rather more detail.

    What is the view of the community on this as a diagnostic tool?

    My immediate thoughts are

    - As a static measurement it may not be indicative of dynamic function

    - It would appear to have the same problems as RSCP in terms of variability of soft tissue markings

    -It would be somewhat skewed by the planal dominance. A foot with a transverse planal dominance for example might display far more drift than drop and could have a lower SNA than the foot with the same degree of pronation and a frontal planal dominance.

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    It very similar to the longitudinal arch angle that McPoil & Cornwall have been working on; and yes it has been shown to be predictive of dynamic function. Most of the clinical tests that we have traditionally used have been shown NOT to be predictive of dynamic function.
  3. Interesting study! Thanks for the link.
  4. MichaelRathleff

    MichaelRathleff Welcome New Poster


    Just got back from I-FAB (International Foot and Ankle Biomech.) in Italy. My poster was about the correlation between statuc measurements and dynamic function of the midfoot. In my study I used the static measurement Navicula Drop test ad modum Brody (NDT) and the static mesurement of navicula height during one legged standing. I correlated there result with navicula drop and the minimal navicula height during walking in 79 helathy sibjects. My results show that the NDT have an correlation of 0.49 with dynamic navicula drop. Navicula drop measured while standing on one leg versus minimal navicula height during walking have an correlation of 0.93 and an correlation of 0.68 with dynamic navicula drop. The regressionmodel based on the results show that the height of navicula during standing on one leg is very close to the actuel minimal height of navicula during walking.

    Furtheremore the calcaneal angle while standing on one leg is also indicative of the maximal calcaneal angle during walking (Relationship Between Three Static Angles of the Rearfoot and the Pattern of Rearfoot Motion During Walking: McPoil and Cornwall 1996).

    We did some preliminary study that shows that correlation between the LAA and dynamic navicula drop is only about 0.5. Any comments? One would think that a change in LAA would influence navicula drop?

    Research show that it is possible to predict a certain height (ie minimal navicula height during walking or LAA during walking/running using static measurements), but it is very hard to predict a change i navicula height (ie dynamic navicula drop or change in MLA-angle from heelstrike to to-off using static measurements). Also it is worth mentioning that all this research is carried out examining healthy subjects. we do not know if the same correlation/predictive values can be used when we examine patients.


  5. Interesting stuff.

    So Arch height (however measured) in static may be predictive of arch height in gait. How very retro! Back to "flat feet";).

    As i mentioned before, a correlation between Nav drop and actual pronation might be heavily affected by planal dominance and axial location so it would be interesting to know to what degree nav drop is predictive of pronation. Anyone know of any studies done on distribution of planal dominance / sagital axial orientation? I don't have access to the original manter study, did he provide a distribution curve?

    So that being the case, does anyone use the feiss line in their assessment protocol? If so How? If not why not?

    Is it useful for measureing excessive excursions of range?

    I can see a use in terms of measuring the transverse planal axial location at mid stance. If we can predict the position of the STJ at MS by the STJ position at static WB then we can assess the axial location using KKs method with the joint in the relevant mid stance position and thus know where in the bundle the axis functions. A functional axial location if you will.

    Am i up completely the wrong tree here?

  6. chaja007

    chaja007 Welcome New Poster

    Hi Micheal

    My name is James i am interested in seeing your poster or even better your paper on navicular drop and nivicular height during single leg stance in gait. Could you please forward it, or let me know where i can get it, if you have published it.

  7. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Think I missed this thread the first time round! In addition to the above article, whilst rummaging through Japma online I also noticed McPoil & Cornwalls 2007 paper which concluded that static measurement of the longitudinal arch angle (LAA) is highly predictive of dynamic function during running

    Not something I had ever routinely performed as part of the examination, having spent many of the previous years telling my patients that static measurements/observations were not predictive of dynamic function...

    Attached Files:

    • LAA.jpg
      File size:
      17.3 KB
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Even though it is predictive of dynamic function (and most of the traditional measure we do are not), if you did use it as part of rountine clinical assessment, what do you actually do with the number? How does it change your orthotic prescription?
  9. Griff

    Griff Moderator


    They were my next questions to anyone who does measure this (which I still do not)

    For me it has certainly not changed orthotic prescriptions etc - only changed some of the things I used to say!
  10. Aha. I know this one.

    Talar made offered (still are so far as I know) free biomechanics training days based almost entirely upon this very measurement.

    The concept is that one measures this angle, then issues one of their pre fab products


    or other based on what that angle tells you about how the foot functions. From memory, and it was a wee while ago, the system "types" feet as high / mobile, low/rigid etc based on the angle and how it changes between RSCP and NSCP.

    Greg Quinn, who runs the course, makes some interesting claims and some interesting observations. Whilst I do not "buy" the system as the evidence based solution it advertizes itself as, I found the concept interesting and the education day challenging. I took much from it, though not a practical use for the feiss line nor the orthotics system based upon it.


    I know Greg "lurks" the forum. Perhaps he would like to say more. You out there Greg

  11. MichaelRathleff

    MichaelRathleff Welcome New Poster


    --> James and others. PM me with your email and I will send the poster.

    I think that it is very important to notice that the measurement of LAA is not predictive of the movement of the foot during running or walking. LAA in standing is predictive of the LAA during midstance in walking or running. It doesnt tell you how much the foot moves.

    One thing that my study showed was that the height of the navicular tuberositas in single leg stance is extremely well correlated with the minimal height of the navicular tuberositas during walking. But neither of our measurements was predictive of how much the medial longitudinal arch moves during walking. There is a small error in this version of the poster (cant fint the printed version). In the conclusion I write that NDT has a insignificant correlation with navicular drop during walking. This is an error, the correlation is significant.

    I believe it is possible to predict navicular height or LAA using static measurements, but none of the static measurement will give you a good idea of how much the foot moves during the stance phase of walking or running.

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