Repeatability of goniometer measurements of the knee in patients wearing an Ilizarov external fixator: a clinic-based study.
Barker KL., Lamb SE., Burns M., Simpson AH.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the intra-tester and inter-tester reliability of three different methods of measurement of knee range of motion in patients undergoing limb reconstruction with the Ilizarov external fixator. DESIGN: Twenty-five patients had the passive range of motion of their knee measured by 13 physiotherapists who were experienced in the use of goniometry. The testers were assigned into random pairs, each tester measured three or four patients who were allocated to them using the three different methods. These were: (1) a universal goniometer aligned against anatomical landmarks, (2) a universal goniometer aligned against the Ilizarov frame and (3) a modified universal goniometer. SETTING: Orthopaedic limb reconstruction outpatient clinics. SUBJECTS: Twenty-five patients undergoing limb reconstruction using an Ilizarov external fixator on both the femur and tibia. RESULTS: Comparison of the three different goniometry methods showed that using a modified goniometer there was enhanced reliability compared with other methods. This method demonstrated good repeatability for both intra-tester and inter-tester measurements. CONCLUSIONS: When serial measurements of knee range of motion are taken in patients wearing an Ilizarov external fixator the modified model of goniometer should be used.