Shannon E. Munteanu, Andrea B. Strawhorn, Karl B. Landorf, Adam R. Bird and George S. Murley
Measurement of ankle joint dorsiflexion is routinely undertaken by clinicians who manage lower limb musculoskeletal pathology. This study aimed to determine the reliability of a technique to measure ankle joint dorsiflexion in a weightbearing position with the knee extended. Four raters with varying clinical experience measured ankle joint dorsiflexion in a weightbearing position with the knee extended on 30 asymptomatic participants. Measurements occurred on two occasions, 1 week apart using (i) a digital inclinometer and (ii) a clear acrylic plate apparatus. Intraclass correlation coefficients and 95% limits of agreement were calculated. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the was high for both the digital inclinometer and the clear acrylic plate apparatus. The authors conclude that measurements of ankle dorsiflexion in a weightbearing position with the knee extended can be performed reliably by experienced and inexperienced raters. However, the reliability of this measurement technique needs to be interpreted in the context of the purpose for which the measurement is intended.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Sept 2007, online article ahead of press