A reliable Q angle measurement using a standardized protocol. The Knee Merchant, A. C., Fraiser, R. n., Dragoo, J. n., Fredericson, M. n. 2020


Studies have shown that Q angle measurements were unreliable. Imaging studies have largely replaced the Q angle for measuring tibial tubercle lateralization. Creating a standardized protocol to measure the Q angle, with normative values, would provide a reliable reference without expensive imaging techniques.Thirty men and 27 women without history of knee problems or family history of dislocating kneecaps were subjects. Exclusion criteria were: patellofemoral abnormalities upon examination. We measured the Q angles of both knees using a standardized protocol and a long-armed goniometer. These data were analyzed to calculate normative values.For all subjects, the mean was 14.8° (˜15°), 95% confidence interval (CI): ±5.4°. The male mean was 13.5°, 95% CI: ±5.2°. The female mean was 15.9°, 95% CI: ±4.8°. There was no significant difference between the right and left knees of the males (p = 0.52), nor of the females (p = 0.62), Beta = 0.14. The 2.4° difference between male and female means was due to the average height difference between the men and women.This study provides a standardized Q angle measurement protocol to assess tibial tubercle lateralization at a patient's first encounter (and intra-operatively) without resorting to expensive imaging studies. These values provide a reliable reference for clinical comparison, and will allow all clinicians and sports medicine personnel to assess tubercle lateralization with reliability and validity. When using this protocol, the term "Standard Q Angle" (SQA) should be used, to avoid confusion with other measurement protocols.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.knee.2020.03.001

View details for PubMedID 32295725