Lateral talar station: a clinically reproducible measure of sagittal talar position.
BACKGROUND: The sagittal relationship of the talus to the tibial shaft can prove invaluable to the orthopedist in understanding and effectively treating ankle pathologies such as ligamentous laxity and ankle arthritis. Any useful radiographic analysis tool to assess the lateral position of the talus must be employable reliably in the clinical setting. Previously published measurements to assess the lateral translational relationship of the talus relative to the tibial axis may not be available in the clinical setting or may be subject to significant inaccuracies. We have defined a sagittal talar position measurement (lateral talar station; LTS), which we postulated could be used reproducibly on clinical radiographs by the orthopedist to define the position of the talus as it relates to the anatomic tibial axis. In addition, we defined the normal range of the LTS measurement. METHODS: A retrospective cohort of patients (121 ankles, 104 patients) who presented to our clinic with foot pain between 2005 and 2011 was evaluated for inclusion in the study. Exclusion criteria included patients with ankle trauma, instability, prior ankle surgery, or radiographic evidence of ankle osteoarthrosis. The final cohort consisted of 82 ankles. The LTS was measured digitally for each subject on weight-bearing lateral ankle radiographs by 3 observers. The mean LTS and standard deviation was determined for the entire cohort. In addition, as a means of validating our methodology, we performed an assessment of interobserver and intraobserver reliability in terms of the LTS measurements. RESULTS: The LTS measurements for the entire cohort fit a Gaussian distribution with a mean of 1.17 mm (SD = 0.9893 mm). Interobserver intraclass coefficients for 2 observers (medical student and radiologist) and intraobserver intraclass coefficients for 1 reader (orthopaedic surgeon) indicated excellent reliability, being above 0.9. CONCLUSION: The LTS was a reliable measure that could be used on weight-bearing lateral ankle radiographs to define sagittal position of the talus in a clinical setting. The normal distribution for the LTS was described in our study population. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, case series.
Veljkovic, A; Norton, A; Salat, P; Saltzman, C; Femino, J; Phisitkul, P; Amendola, A
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