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01-12-2018 | Research | Uitgave 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2018

The inter- and intra-rater reliability of the Maestro and Barroco metatarsal length measurement techniques

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2018
Zainab Ali, Hassan Karim, Navid Wali, Reza Naraghi



The relationship between metatarsal length and various forefoot pathologies is a topic of contention in Orthopaedics. The results of such investigations have been shown to depend on the method of metatarsal length measurement used. The aim of this study was to assess the inter- and intra-rater reliability of the Maestro and Barroco metatarsal length measurement techniques.


A retrospective and quantitative study was performed on 15 randomly selected radiographs to determine the reliability of the two measurement techniques across all five metatarsals (M1 to M5). This was done at one week apart for three weeks by three raters. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and the 95% lower confidence limit (95% LCL) were calculated.


The Maestro and Barroco techniques produced high to very high ICC vlaues for length measurements across all metatarsals. The 95% lower confidence limit for inter-rater measurements ranged between 0.92–0.98 for Maestro’s and 0.86–0.99 for Barroco’s technique. For intra-rater measurements the 95% LCL ranged between 0.83–0.99 for Maestro’s and 0.75–0.99 for Barroco’s technique.


Our study found that both the Maestro and Barroco methods of measurements produced high to very high inter- and intra-rater reliability. Both methods may be suitable for the use of peri-operative planning and clinical research relating metatarsal length and forefoot pathology. Besides having a more simplistic method of application, the novel Barroco technique is comparable to the more established Maestro method in both repeatability and reproducibility.

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