Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: January 2014 - Volume 472 - Issue 1 - p 212–217 doi: 10.1007/s11999-013-3111-7 Symposium: 2013 Knee Society Proceedings

Inter- and Intraobserver Reliability of Two-dimensional CT Scan for Total Knee Arthroplasty Component Malrotation

Konigsberg, Beau, MD1; Hess, Ryan, MD1; Hartman, Curtis, MD1; Smith, Lynette, MS1; Garvin, Kevin, L., MD1, a

Background Rotational malalignment of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has been correlated with patellofemoral maltracking, knee instability, and stiffness. CT is the most accurate method to assess rotational alignment of prosthetic components after TKA, but inter- and intraobserver reliability of CT scans for this use has not been well documented.


Questions/purposes The objective of this study was to determine the inter- and intraobserver reliability and the repeatability of the measurement of TKA component rotation using two-dimensional CT scans.


Methods Fifty-two CT scans of TKAs being evaluated for revision surgery were measured by three different physicians. An orthopaedic resident and attending measured the same scans twice (more than 2 weeks apart) and a musculoskeletal radiologist measured them once. To assess interobserver reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with two-way mixed-effects analysis of variance models as well as 95% confidence intervals for each were done. The repeatability coefficient was calculated as well, which is defined as the difference in measurements that include 95% of the values. This indicates the magnitude of variability among measurements in the same scale, which in this study is degrees.


Results The interobserver ICC measurement for the femoral component was 0.386 (poor), and it was 0.670 (good) for the tibial component. The interobserver ICC for the combined rotation measurements was 0.617 (good). The intraobserver ICC for the femoral component was 0.606 (good), and it was 0.809 (very good) for the tibial component. The intraobserver ICC for combined rotation was 0.751 (good). The intraobserver repeatability coefficient for the femoral component was 0.49°, 10.64° for the tibial component, and 12.29° for combined rotation.


Conclusions In this study, the inter- and intraobserver reliability, and the repeatability, of TKA component rotation were variable. This raises concern about whether CT scan is diagnostic in the assessment of component malrotation after TKA.


Level of Evidence Level IV, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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