Reliability of a Low-Cost Assessment of Tibial Torsion and Transverse-Plane Posture of the Lower Limb and Pelvis Using a Smartphone Compass

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2021 Nov-Dec;44(9):718-724. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2022.03.006.


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate intra- and interrater reliability and minimal detectable change (MDC) of clinical measures proposed to assess tibial torsion and the posture of the lower limbs and pelvis in the transverse plane.

METHODS: Twenty-five able-bodied and asymptomatic participants (mean age 27 ± 4.03, 12 women) were assessed during relaxed standing with a compass application on a smartphone coupled to a caliper. Two trained examiners measured tibial torsion and angular postures of the pelvis, hip, femur, and tibia. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to investigate reliabilities, and MDCs were calculated.

RESULTS: The results showed predominantly good-to-excellent reliability for the measures of the femur, hip, and tibia postures and tibial torsion (0.77 < ICC < 0.94), including some moderate-to-good reliability (0.65 < ICC < 0.75). The pelvic posture measure was predominantly moderate to good (0.55 < ICC < 0.86). MDCs have been reported (2.14°-7.86°) to assist clinicians in identifying postural changes that are within or outside the random measure variation.

CONCLUSION: The use of a smartphone digital compass coupled to a caliper showed to be a reliable method to assess tibial torsion and transverse-plane postures of the lower limb and pelvis.

PMID:35781161 | DOI:10.1016/j.jmpt.2022.03.006

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