Inter- and intrarater reliability of ulna variance versus lunate subsidence measurements in Madelung deformity

J Hand Surg Am. 2015 Jan;40(1):62-6.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.08.037. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Purpose: To assess inter- and intrarater reliability of both ulna variance and lunate subsidence measurement methods in a large consecutive series of children with Madelung deformity.

Methods: Ulnar variance and lunate subsidence were measured on 41 standard anteroposterior wrist radiographs from 31 patients with Madelung deformity. The patients had a mean age of 13 years (range, 5-25) at the time of presentation. Two pediatric orthopedic hand/upper limb surgeons evaluated all radiographs twice in a 4-week interval using standard digital imaging software. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated for inter- and intrarater reliability, and results were reported using the Landis and Koch criteria.

Results: The interrater ICC for the ulna variance measurements was substantial, and for the lunate subsidence almost perfect. The intrarater ICC for ulna variance was substantial for both raters. In contrast, the intrarater ICC for lunate subsidence was almost perfect for both raters.

Conclusions: Measurement of lunate subsidence showed both superior interrater and intrarater reliability compared with the ulnar variance method. Whenever relative ulna length is assessed in children and adolescents with Madelung deformity, the lunate subsidence should be the preferred method to characterize deformity.

Keywords: Lunate subsidence; Madelung deformity; reliability; ulnar variance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Lunate Bone / abnormalities
  • Lunate Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ulna / abnormalities
  • Ulna / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wrist Joint / abnormalities
  • Wrist Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Madelung Deformity