OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the use of cartilaginous contours at the femoral condyles instead of bony contours significantly changes femoral torsion measurements in children.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Femoral torsion was measured in 32 girls (mean age 10.1 years±2.3 standard deviation) and 42 boys (10.9 years±2.5) on axial magnetic resonance (MR) images by two independent readers (R1,R2). The femoral condyle angle was measured using each the cartilaginous and bony contours of the distal femur. Cartilage thickness at femoral condyles was assessed. Intraclass-correlation-coefficient (ICC) and Pearson's correlation were used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Mean difference between cartilaginous and bony femoral torsion in girls was -1.1°±1.75 (range, -5.4° to 3.1°) for R1 and -1.64°±1.67 (-6.3° to 2.1°) for R2, in boys -1.5°±1.87 (-8.4° to 1.1°) for R1 and -2.28°±1.48 (-4.3° to 9.7°) for R2. Weak-to-moderate correlations between difference of cartilaginous-versus-bony measurements and cartilage thickness (r=-0.15 to -0.55, P<0.001-0.46) or age (r=-0.33 to 0.46, P<0.001-0.006) were found for both genders. Intermethod-ICC for cartilaginous versus bony femoral torsion measurements was 0.99/0.99 for R1/R2 in girls, and 0.99/0.98 in boys.
CONCLUSION: There is only a small difference when measuring femoral torsion through cartilaginous versus bony contours, and no major difference in this between boys and girls.