Various methods for assessing static lower extremity alignment: Implications for prospective risk-factor screenings
Context: Accurate, efficient, and reliable measurement methods are essential to prospectively identify risk factors for knee injuries in large cohorts. Objective: To determine tester reliability using digital photographs for the measurement of static lower extremity alignment (LEA) and whether values quantified with an electromagnetic motion-tracking system are in agreement with those quantified with clinical methods and digital photographs. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Thirty-three individuals participated and included 17 (10 women, 7 men; age = 21.7 ± 2.7 years, height= 163.4 ± 6.4 cm, mass= 59.7 ± 7.8 kg, body mass index = 23.7 ± 2.6 kg/m2) in study 1, in which we examined the reliability between clinical measures and digital photographs in 1 trained and 1 novice investigator, and 16 (11 women, 5 men; age = 22.3 ± 1.6 years, height = 170.3 ± 6.9 cm, mass = 72.9 ± 16.4 kg, body mass index = 25.2 ± 5.4 kg/m2) in study 2, in which we examined the agreement among clinical measures, digital photographs, and an electromagnetic tracking system. Intervention(s): We evaluated measures of pelvic angle, quadriceps angle, tibiofemoral angle, genu recurvatum, femur length, and tibia length. Clinical measures were assessed using clinically accepted methods. Frontal- and sagittal-plane digital images were captured and imported into a computer software program. Anatomic landmarks were digitized using an electromagnetic tracking system to calculate static LEA. Main Outcome Measure(s): Intraclass correlation coefficients and standard errors of measurement were calculated to examine tester reliability. We calculated 95% limits of agreement and used Bland-Altman plots to examine agreement among clinical measures, digital photographs, and an electromagnetic tracking system. Results: Using digital photographs, fair to excellent intratester (intraclass correlation coefficient range = 0.70-0.99) and intertester (intraclass correlation coefficient range = 0.75-0.97) reliability were observed for static knee alignment and limblength measures. An acceptable level of agreement was observed between clinical measures and digital pictures for limb-length measures. When comparing clinical measures and digital photographs with the electromagnetic tracking system, an acceptable level of agreement was observed in measures of static knee angles and limb-length measures. Conclusions: The use of digital photographs and an electromagnetic tracking system appears to be an efficient and reliable method to assess static knee alignment and limb-length measurements. © by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.
Journal of Athletic Training
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Nguyen, Boling, M. C., Slye, C. A., Hartley, E. M., & Parisi, G. L. (2013). Various methods for assessing static lower extremity alignment: implications for prospective risk-factor screenings. Journal of Athletic Training, 48(2), 248–257. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-48.2.08