Intraexaminer, interexaminer, and interdevice comparability of leg length measurements obtained with measuring tape and metrecom

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1991;14(6):263-8. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1991.14.6.263.


Leg length inequalities result from a variety of clinical abnormalities. The purpose of this study was to compare repeated leg length measurements taken by two examiners with two devices during a single session. The two devices that were used were a standard tape measure and a Metrecom. Since reliability coefficients do not fully describe the comparability of measurements, ANOVAs were used to describe differences, and Pearson correlations were used to describe relationships between measurements of leg length obtained by the two examiners using the two instruments. Results of the study showed that although reliability and correlation coefficients are high between testers and devices, significant differences in measurements exist between both testers and devices. The measures found to be most comparable were those taken by one examiner using one device. The authors concluded that for clinical purposes, the tape measure may be the more practical device based on its price. It was theorized, however, that in cases of asymmetry or orthopaedic deformity, the accuracy of the Metrecom may be superior. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1991;14(6):263-268.