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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1989 Jan;71(1):6-8.

Reliability of radiological measurements in the assessment of the child's hip.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria, Australia.


We investigated the reproducibility of the various radiological methods of assessment of hip dysplasia by making 474 assessments of hips and quantifying the inter-observer and intra-observer variation. There was a wide range of variability between the readings made by different observers and by one observer on two occasions. A measurement of acetabular index has to be given a range of +/- 6 degrees in order to be 95% confident of including the true measurement. We found the most helpful measurements to be the acetabular index, up to the age of eight years; the centre-edge angle, over the age of five years; and Smith's c/b ratio and neck-shaft angle. We feel, however, that the change in value over a series of radiographs in the same child is much more valuable. Single readings of all the radiological measurements investigated in this study were unreliable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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