Open Access Research article

Ankle dorsi- and plantar-flexion torques measured by dynamometry in healthy subjects from 5 to 80 years

Amélie Moraux, Aurélie Canal, Gwenn Ollivier, Isabelle Ledoux, Valérie Doppler, Christine Payan and Jean-Yves Hogrel*

Author Affiliations

Institut de Myologie, UPMC UM 76, INSERM U 974, CNRS UMR 7215, 75651, Paris Cedex 13, France

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:104  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-104

Published: 22 March 2013



Ankle strength is often impaired in some of the most common neuromuscular disorders. Consequently, strength generated around this joint is important to assess, because it has a great impact on balance and gait. The objectives of this study were to establish normative data and predictive equations for both ankle dorsi- and plantar-flexion strength from a population of healthy subjects (children and adults), to assess the reliability of the measurements and to study the feasibility of using a novel dynamometer on a group of patients with a neuromuscular disorder.


Measurements of maximal isometric torque for dorsi- and plantar-flexion were performed on 345 healthy subjects from 5 to 80 years of age. The feasibility of the method was tested on nine patients diagnosed with type 2A limb girdle muscular dystrophy.


The results documented normal strength values depending on gender and age on ankle dorsi- and plantar-flexion. The reliability of the technique was good with no evaluator effect and a small learning effect. The dynamometer was found suitable in the group of patients, even very weak.


The device developed was both reliable and accurate in assessing both ankle dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion torque measurements from weak patients and children to strong healthy adults. Norms and predictive equations are provided for these two muscle functions.

Muscle strength; Normative data; Prediction model; Outcome measures