A protocol for clinical evaluation of the carrying angle of the elbow by anatomic landmarks

Maria Luisa Zampagni, Daniela Casino, Sandra Martelli, Andrea Visani, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this work was to present an in vivo protocol to estimate the carrying angle of the elbow in full extension. Forty-four arms were measured by using an electrogoniometer to acquire 3-dimensional coordinates of the landmarks. An algorithm based on the Cardan decomposition method was used to compute the carrying angle and the flexion and pronation angles of the elbow. The mean carrying angle was 12.42° ± 4.06°, in agreement with the literature and with values obtained by a standard goniometer (r = 0.46; P = .000). Our protocol provided excellent repeatability (interclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.85), greater than a goniometer (ICC = 0.76), and a standard error of measurement of only 1.62°. Flexion was a significant factor (P = .01) in carrying angle estimation. This study suggests that the carrying angle cannot be estimated independently by the flexion angle, even when measured in apparently full extension, and it could be useful in elbow disorders, such as fractures or epicondylar disease management and evaluation of elbow reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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