Intra‑ and Interobserver Reliability of Yamaguchi's Method for the Assessment of First Metatarsal Pronation in Hallux Valgus Deformity

Published:October 28, 2022DOI:


      Pronation of the first metatarsal is a risk factor for the formation and progression of the hallux valgus deformity. Recently, Yamaguchi et al published a study that showed how the round sign increases on digitally reconstructed radiography taken from a CT scan when pronation is applied. In this study, the shape of the lateral edge of the first metatarsal head was evaluated on weightbearing dorsoplantar radiographs. Yamaguchi's signs were presented to observers after the visual presentation of each foot as an image. The best-fit circle was drawn using the PACS drawing function. Ninety radiographs of adults presenting hallux valgus deformities were classified as mild-to-moderate, based on hallux valgus angle and intermetatarsal angle. The global average observations were 3.72 ± 3.92 (range 2.3°-4.6°). The interclass correlation (Fleiss Kappa index κ = 0.225) and the Spearman correlation (0.16 of Kappa) coefficients were poor for interobserver measurements and statistically significant. Using the linear model, there was no significant variability between the repetitions corresponding to each observer (t-value -1.527, p value .127). Our findings show that the Yamaguchi method can be very subjective and should not be the exclusive technique to assess the rotation of the first metatarsal or head roundness.

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