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Diagnostics 2016, 6(2), 15; doi:10.3390/diagnostics6020015

Reliability of Various Measurement Stations for Determining Plantar Fascia Thickness and Echogenicity

1
Clinical Exercise Science, University of Potsdam, Am Neues Palais, Potsdam, Brandenburg 14467, Germany
2
Sports and Health Sciences, University Outpatient Clinic, Am Neues Palais, Potsdam, Brandenburg 14467, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreas Kjaer
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract

This study aimed to determine the relative and absolute reliability of ultrasound (US) measurements of the thickness and echogenicity of the plantar fascia (PF) at different measurement stations along its length using a standardized protocol. Twelve healthy subjects (24 feet) were enrolled. The PF was imaged in the longitudinal plane. Subjects were assessed twice to evaluate the intra-rater reliability. A quantitative evaluation of the thickness and echogenicity of the plantar fascia was performed using Image J, a digital image analysis and viewer software. A sonography evaluation of the thickness and echogenicity of the PF showed a high relative reliability with an Intra class correlation coefficient of ≥0.88 at all measurement stations. However, the measurement stations for both the PF thickness and echogenicity which showed the highest intraclass correlation coefficient (ICCs) did not have the highest absolute reliability. Compared to other measurement stations, measuring the PF thickness at 3 cm distal and the echogenicity at a region of interest 1 cm to 2 cm distal from its insertion at the medial calcaneal tubercle showed the highest absolute reliability with the least systematic bias and random error. Also, the reliability was higher using a mean of three measurements compared to one measurement. To reduce discrepancies in the interpretation of the thickness and echogenicity measurements of the PF, the absolute reliability of the different measurement stations should be considered in clinical practice and research rather than the relative reliability with the ICC. View Full-Text
Keywords: plantar fascia; reliability; sonography; musculoskeletal plantar fascia; reliability; sonography; musculoskeletal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bisi-Balogun, A.; Cassel, M.; Mayer, F. Reliability of Various Measurement Stations for Determining Plantar Fascia Thickness and Echogenicity. Diagnostics 2016, 6, 15.

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