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The purpose of this work is to characterize the three-dimensional (3-D) motion of the peritalar joint complex in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Each image data set utilized in this study is made of 60 longitudinal MR slices of the foot in each of eight positions from extreme pronation to extreme supination. The authors acquired and analyzed ten such data sets from normal subjects, seven data sets from pathological joints and two postoperative data sets. They segmented and formed the surfaces of the calcaneus, talus, cuboid and navicular from all data sets. About 30 geometrical parameters are computed for each joint in each position. The results present features of normal motion and show how normal and abnormal motion can be distinguished. They also show the consequences of surgery on the motion. This non-invasive method offers a unique tool to characterize and quantify the 3-D motion of the rearfoot in vivo from MR images.