The variability in accuracy of the Rolimeter in assessing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) laxity as tested by users of different experience

Arbuthnot, J, Stables, G, Hatcher, JO ORCID: and McNicholas, M 2006, 'The variability in accuracy of the Rolimeter in assessing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) laxity as tested by users of different experience' , Orthopaedic Proceedings, 88-B (SupIII) , p. 386.

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Introduction: Instrumented arthrometry is a widely used technique for the quantification of cruciate ligament laxity. It is used both before and after surgery. The Rolimeter(Aircast, Europe) is used in such scenarios. It has several advantages over its cousins; it is more compact, lighter, less expensive and amenable to sterilization techniques. The other leading arthrometers have however had over 15 years of clinical use and their reliability has been thoroughly assessed. Muellner et al found no significant difference in the intra-tester and inter-tester results obtained on Rolimeter assessment of the knees of un-injured healthy subjects. Our study assessed the inter-tester and intra-tester variability when the Rolimeter is applied to patients with unilateral ACL-deficient knees. It also examines whether the level of experience of the examiner influences the results in this group of patients. Materials and Methods: Six examiners each examined thirty-three subjects on two occasions. One examiner was medically qualified but had never performed a Lachman or anterior drawer test. Two examiners were qualified physiotherapists who routinely examined knees, but had never used a Rolimeter. One medically qualified examiner was considered to be of intermediate experience.Two examiners were regarded as expert Rolimeter users.For each examination a Rolimeter reading was taken three times with the knee at 30 degrees of flexion and three times at 90 degrees of flexion for both knees.The interval between examinations was at least thirty minutes. All the readings were acquired on the same day. The examiners were blinded to whether the subject was known to be ACL deficient or not. The results of the examinations were entered onto a data-base.Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to test for the effects of the following factors, difference between examiners, reproduction of results between examinations. Results: There was no significant difference between each set of measures for each subject between examinations (p=0.767), indicating that the measurement procedure was reliable. Measurements were significantly higher in patients with ACL-deficient knees compared to the control group (p< 0.001) confirming the sensitivity of the Rolimeter to help diagnose ACL-deficient knees. The in-experienced examiner’s measurements were lowest and were more reliable. The examiner with the intermediate experience was the most un-reliable. Both experienced examiners were in close agreement. Conclusion: We have demonstrated that the rolimeter is reliable in the assesment of ACL deficient patients regardless of the experience of the examiner.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Orthopaedic Proceedings
Publisher: British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery
ISSN: 1358-992X
Related URLs:
Depositing User: JO Hatcher
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2020 12:05
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:43

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