Purpose: To assess validity and inter- and intra-tester reliability of equine goniometry and to establish values for carpal, metacarpophalangeal, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal flexion and extension in horses.
Subjects: Seventeen healthy equine subjects of varied breeds were used.
Methods: Three investigators blindly and independently measured in triplicate the extension and flexion of carpal, metacarpophalangeal, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal joints of 17 horses after sedation. Radiographs of these joints in flexion and extension were acquired while under sedation. Goniometric and radiographic measurements were compared statistically and were correlated. A Bland-Altman plot was constructed. Inter- and intra-tester repeatability of goniometry were evaluated by calculating intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Mean flexion and extension of carpal, metacarpophalangeal, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal joints were calculated.
Results: Goniometric and radiographic measurements did not differ statistically and were significantly correlated (correlation coefficients ranged from 0.59 - 0.89). The mean difference between goniometric and radiographic measurements was 0.4°. Triplicate measurements collected by the three raters did not differ significantly within raters (ICC ranging from 0.950 - 0.995) and between raters (ICC ranging from 0.942 - 0.989).
Conclusion: Goniometry is a valid and repeatable tool for evaluation of the range of motion of carpal, metacarpophalangeal, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal joints in standing, sedated healthy horses.
Keywords: Horse; goniometry; joint.