The effect of foot rotation on measuring ankle alignment using simulated radiographs: a safe zone for pre-operative planning

G. Vuurberg, J. Dahmen, J. G. G. Dobbe, R. P. Kleipool, S. A. S. Stufkens, M. Maas, G. M. M. J. Kerkhoffs, C. N. van Dijk, G. J. Streekstra

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AIM: To assess whether variation in foot rotation, in relation to camera position, affects the reliability of measurement of hindfoot alignment on radiographs and to define a “safe zone” where measurement of the alignment axis and thus preoperative planning is not affected by foot rotation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Healthy volunteers were recruited of whom double-sided lower-leg weight-bearing computed tomography (CT) was acquired. Weight-bearing was simulated by means of providing axial compression force equal to the weight of the healthy volunteers. The scans were uploaded into custom-made three-dimensional analysis software to create digitally reconstructed radiographs. For each CT examination, a coordinate system was determined, which defines the neutral position of the leg. Rotation about the z-axis of this coordinate system simulates endo- and exorotation of the foot. Subsequently, radiographs were reconstructed for the leg between 30° of endorotation and 45° of exorotation, and the relation between the observed alignment axis and foot rotation was determined. RESULTS: A total of 20 healthy volunteers were included, 10 males (mean age 37.7±11.1) and 10 females (mean age 34±10.3). Per 5° of leg rotation, the alignment axis translated with a mean of 6.86% (SD ±13.1). No significant difference in position of the alignment axis was seen between 10° of endorotation and 10° of exorotation compared to the neutral ankle position. CONCLUSION: The “safe zone” for imaging the hindfoot alignment axis, is between 10° endo- and 10° exorotation of the foot.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897.e1-897.e7
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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