Background: The purpose of this study was to clarify 1) the measurement error of the pronation angle using the first metatarsal axial radiograph with the pronation angle along the longitudinal axis of the first metatarsal as the reference standard, 2) the influence of variability in the foot position on the measurement error, and 3) the intra- and interrater reliability of pronation angle measurement using digitally reconstructed radiographs. Methods: Digitally reconstructed radiographs of the first metatarsal were generated from the computed tomography images of 10 feet without hallux valgus (non-HV group) and 10 feet with hallux valgus (HV group). In total, 135 images were created at different degrees of supination, plantarflexion, and adduction from each foot to simulate the first metatarsal axial view. Then, the pronation angle of the first metatarsal was measured. The measurement error was determined using the mean error and 95% limits of agreement. Simple linear regression analysis was used to test the correlations of the measurement error with pronation, plantarflexion and adduction angles. The intra- and interrater reliability of measurement was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient and minimum detectable change values. Results: The mean measurement errors were 0.1° for both the non-HV and HV groups. There was no significant correlation of the measurement error with pronation, plantarflexion or adduction angles for both groups. Additionally, the intraclass correlation coefficients for the intra- and interrater reliability were more than 0.9 in both the non-HV and HV groups with the minimum detectable change values ranging from 0.7° to 1.4°. Conclusion: The measurement error of first metatarsal pronation using the axial view was clinically acceptable. The measurements were not influenced by the variability in foot position while obtaining the radiograph. The first metatarsal axial view could be used to quantify the first metatarsal coronal rotation.
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