Accuracy and Reliability of Postoperative Radiographic Evaluation of First Metatarsal-Phalangeal Joint Arthrodesis.

Abstract

The clinical value of routine postoperative radiographic evaluation after orthopedic procedures has recently been called into question. The objective of the present investigation was to evaluate the ability of foot and ankle surgeons to accurately and reliably assess postoperative radiographs after first metatarsal-phalangeal joint arthrodesis. Thirty sets of digital radiographs from 11 patients who had undergone first metatarsal-phalangeal joint arthrodesis were retrospectively evaluated by 5 podiatric physicians board-certified in foot surgery. The surgeons were asked to answer several questions, including whether the radiograph appeared to be >4 or <4 postoperative weeks; whether the radiograph appeared to be >8 or <8 postoperative weeks; their estimation of the postoperative week; and whether they would allow the patient to begin weightbearing based on the radiographic findings. With respect to whether the radiographs were >4 or <4 postoperative weeks, surgeons made accurate assessments 63.33% of the time (95 of 150; range 56.67% to 73.33%), with a kappa of 0.220. With respect to whether the radiographs were >8 or <8 postoperative weeks, surgeons made accurate assessments 60.0% of the time (90 of 150; range 53.33% to 70.0%), with a kappa of 0.203. With respect to the estimation of the postoperative week of the radiograph, surgeons accurately assessed the radiographs within a 4-week period 34.0% of the time (54 of 150; range 26.67% to 46.67%), with a kappa of 0.425. With respect to allowing the patient to bear weight according to the radiographic findings, the surgeons were in complete agreement 26.67% of the time (8 of 30), with a kappa of 0.251. These results provide evidence against the serial routine use of postoperative radiographs for the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint arthrodesis in the absence of a specific clinical indication.

DOI: 10.1053/j.jfas.2017.01.027

Cite this paper

@article{Pirozzi2017AccuracyAR, title={Accuracy and Reliability of Postoperative Radiographic Evaluation of First Metatarsal-Phalangeal Joint Arthrodesis.}, author={Kelly M Pirozzi and Andrew J Meyr}, journal={The Journal of foot and ankle surgery : official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons}, year={2017}, volume={56 3}, pages={547-550} }