Reliability and validity of carpal alignment measurements in evaluating deformities of scaphoid fractures

Young Hak Roh, Jung Ho Noh, Beom Koo Lee, Jong Ryoon Baek, Joo Han Oh, Hyun Sik Gong, Goo Hyun Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: Several radiographic carpal alignment indices are used to evaluate the deformities of scaphoid fractures. The purpose of this study was to determine the reliabilities and validities of radiographic carpal alignment indices commonly used to evaluate deformities of scaphoid fractures. Methods: Thirty-six patients with a scaphoid fracture were evaluated. Five carpal alignment indices were assessed on lateral plain radiographs, namely, scapholunate angle, radioscaphoid angle, radiolunate angle, radiocapitate angle, and capitolunate angle. Three examiners measured these radiographic indices at two sessions, and intraobserver and interobserver reliabilities were determined and expressed as intraclass correlation coefficients. Discriminant validities of radiographic carpal alignment indicies between injured and uninjured wrists were evaluated. For convergent validity testing, the correlation between the radiographic carpal alignment indices and intrascaphoid angles (ISAs) or height-to-length (HL) ratios on CT longitudinal scans was assessed. Further, carpal alignment indices after surgical reconstruction were compared to the Mayo wrist score. Results: Scapholunate and radiolunate angles had the highest reliabilities, and radiocapitate angle had the lowest. Radiolunate angle had the highest discriminant validity followed by scapholunate, and capitolunate angles. In convergent validity testing, scapholunate angles and radiolunate angles correlated with ISA angles, and radiolunate and capitolunate angles correlated with HL ratios. Only the radiolunate angles correlated with the Mayo wrist scores. Conclusions: Among radiographic carpal alignment measures, radiolunate angle is the most reliable and valid carpal alignment index for evaluating deformities of scaphoid fractures. Scapholunate and capitolunate angles could be used as an alternative, but have less validity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-893
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflict of interest The institution of the authors (yHr, BKL, JrB) has received funding from Ildong Pharmaceuticals (grant no. gCIrB2013-96), which was used for laboratory fees and salaries for baseline data collection.


  • Carpal alignment measurements
  • Deformity
  • Reliability
  • Scaphoid fracture
  • Validity


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