An automated method for the creation of patient-specific volumetric articular cartilage elements in the human foot is presented. The algorithm generates visually accurate (based on depictions in the literature) articular cartilage elements by identifying contact surfaces on adjacent bones in a computationally effective manner based on a distance threshold criterion. This method provides an automated and practical cartilage model when compared with current methods, which include scan-by-scan identification and selection, a highly user-biased and tedious process.