Background: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a simple overlay device can be used on radiographs to measure radial head and neck height. Materials and methods: Thirty anteroposterior elbow radiographs from 30 patients with a clinical diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis were examined to measure radial head and neck height. Three methods using different points along the bicipital tuberosity as a landmark were used. Method 1 used the proximal end of the bicipital tuberosity, method 2 used the most prominent point of the bicipital tuberosity, and method 3 used a simple overlay device (SOD) template that was aligned with anatomic reference points. All measurements were performed three times by three observers to determine interobserver and intraobserver reliability. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients revealed higher interobserver and intraobserver correlations for the SOD template method than for the other two methods. The 95% limits of agreement between observers were markedly better (-1.8 mm to +1.0 mm) for the SOD template method than for the proximal point method (-3.8 mm to +3.4 mm) or the prominent point method (-5.9 mm to +4.9 mm). Conclusions: We found that the SOD template method was reliable for assessing radial head and neck height. It had less variability than other methods, its 95% limit of agreement being less than 2 mm. This method could be helpful for assessing whether or not the insertion of a radial head prosthesis has resulted in over-lengthening of the radius.
- Bicipital tuberosity
- Radial head
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging