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The purpose of this work is to study the architecture of the rearfoot using in vivo MR image data. Each data set used in this study is made of sixty sagittal slices of the foot acquired in a 1.5-T commercial GE MR system. The authors use the live-wire method to delineate boundaries and form the surfaces of the bones. In the first part of this work, they describe a new method to characterize the three-dimensional (3-D) relationships of four bones of the peritalar complex and apply this description technique to data sets from ten normal subjects and from seven pathological cases. In the second part, the authors propose a procedure to classify feet, based on the values of these new architectural parameters. They conclude that this noninvasive method offers a unique tool to characterize the 3-D architecture of the feet in live patients, based on a set of new architectural parameters. This can be integrated into a set of tools to improve diagnosis and treatment of foot malformations.