Gissane angle

Last revised by Dr Calum Worsley on 08 Feb 2022

Gissane angle, also known as the "critical angle of Gissane", is a measurement on lateral foot radiographs used to evaluate the severity of calcaneal fractures.

The Gissane angle is measured by drawing lines along the superior surfaces of the anterior process and the posterior facet of the calcaneus to meet at the calcaneal sulcus 1. It is properly measured on the lateral foot radiograph, but can also be measured on lateral ankle radiographs, allowing for the slight differences in projection.

The normal Gissane angle is usually between 120° and 145° 1. There is a relatively wide variation in the size of the angle between individuals but there is relatively little difference between the left and right feet of individual patients 2

The Gissane angle, together with the Böhler angle, is used to evaluate the severity of a calcaneal fracture and the goal of surgical treatment is to restore these angles to normal values, though the Gissane angle is less useful than Böhler angle, and so is less frequently used 4

William Gissane (1898-1981), an Australian by birth, was a professor of orthopedics, and is remembered as a pioneer of traumatology. He was the first clinical director of the Birmingham Accident Hospital, regarded as the first dedicated trauma center in the world 3.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: normal Gissane angle
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  • Case 2: reduced Gissane angle
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