Purpose: Accurate measurement of laxity after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture is usually performed with the KT-1000 arthrometer, and reproducibility and reliability are discussed. A new arthrometer, the GNRB(®), has been recently developed in an attempt to improve intra- and inter-examiner reproducibility. The aim of this diagnostic study was to evaluate the intra- and inter-examiner reproducibility of the GNRB(®) and the KT-1000.
Methods: Three protocols were designed to evaluate and compare the two arthrometers. Fifteen physiotherapists conducted tests on 15 subjects with healthy knees. The intra- and inter-reproducibility of the two tests were compared by analysis of variance and the F-test.
Results: Measure reproducibility was significantly worst with the KT-1000 than with the GNRB(®) (machine effect, P < 0.001) regardless of operator experience. There was no significant difference between experienced and inexperienced examiners with the GNRB(®) (no 'examiners effect'). Regardless of the machine, there was a 'side effect' with healthy knees.
Conclusion: This clinical study demonstrates the superior intra- and inter-examiner reproducibility of the GNRB(®) over the KT-1000. There appears to be some technological advantages to using the GNRB(®) including pressure control of the patella, accuracy of the displacement transducer, control of the load on the calf, and control of hamstring activity.
Level of evidence: Diagnostic study, Level I.