Validity and reliability of hallux valgus angle measured on digital photographs
Nix, Sheree, Russell, Trevor, Vicenzino, Bill, & Smith, Michelle (2012) Validity and reliability of hallux valgus angle measured on digital photographs. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 42(7), pp. 642-648.
STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the reliability and concurrent validity of photographic measurements of hallux valgus angle compared to radiographs as the criterion standard.
BACKGROUND: Clinical assessment of hallux valgus involves measuring alignment between the first toe and metatarsal on weight-bearing radiographs or visually grading the severity of deformity with categorical scales. Digital photographs offer a noninvasive method of measuring deformity on an exact scale; however, the validity of this technique has not previously been established.
METHODS: Thirty-eight subjects (30 female, 8 male) were examined (76 feet, 54 with hallux valgus). Computer software was used to measure hallux valgus angle from digital records of bilateral weight-bearing dorsoplantar foot radiographs and photographs. One examiner measured 76 feet on 2 occasions 2 weeks apart, and a second examiner measured 40 feet on a single occasion. Reliability was investigated by intraclass correlation coefficients and validity by 95% limits of agreement. The Pearson correlation coefficient was also calculated.
RESULTS: Intrarater and interrater reliability were very high (intraclass correlation coefficients greater than 0.96) and 95% limits of agreement between photographic and radiographic measurements were acceptable. Measurements from photographs and radiographs were also highly correlated (Pearson r = 0.96).
CONCLUSIONS: Digital photographic measurements of hallux valgus angle are reliable and have acceptable validity compared to weight-bearing radiographs. This method provides a convenient and precise tool in assessment of hallux valgus, while avoiding the cost and radiation exposure associated with radiographs.
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