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01-12-2008 | Research | Uitgave 1/2008 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2008

Ultrasound evaluation of the abductor hallucis muscle: Reliability study

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2008
Alyse FM Cameron, Keith Rome, Wayne A Hing
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-1-12) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

AC carried out the literature review, piloting, data collection and drafted the manuscript. KR and WH participated in the design of the study, statistical analysis and drafting of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



The Abductor hallucis muscle (AbdH) plays an integral role during gait and is often affected in pathological foot conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the within and between-session intra-tester reliability using diagnostic ultrasound of the dorso-plantar thickness, medio-lateral width and cross-sectional area, of the AbdH in asymptomatic adults.


The AbdH muscles of thirty asymptomatic subjects were imaged and then measured using a Philips HD11 Ultrasound machine. Interclass correlation coefficients (ICC) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to calculate both within and between session intra-tester reliability.


The within-session reliability results demonstrated for dorso-plantar thickness an ICC of 0.97 (95% CI: 0.99–0.99); medio-lateral width an ICC: of 0.97 (95% CI: 0.92–0.97) and cross-sectional area an ICC of 0.98 (95% CI: 0.98–0.99). Between-session reliability results demonstrated for dorso-plantar thickness an ICC of 0.97 (95% CI: 0.95 to 0.98); medio-lateral width an ICC of 0.94 (95% CI 0.90 to 0.96) and for cross-sectional area an ICC of 0.79 (95% CI 0.65 to 0.88).


Diagnostic ultrasound has the potential to be a reliable tool for evaluating the AbdH muscle in asymptomatic subjects. Subsequent studies may be conducted to provide a better understanding of the AbdH function in foot and ankle pathologies.

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