Reliability of the Lichtman classification of Kienbock's disease

Kourosh Jafarnia, Evan D. Collins, Harold W. Kohl, James B. Bennett, Omer A. Ilahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to establish the interobserver reliability and intraobserver reproducibility of the staging of Kienbock's disease according to Lichtman's classification. Posteroanterior and lateral wrist radiographs of 64 patients with a diagnosis of Kienbock's disease and 10 control subjects were reviewed independently by 4 observers on 2 separate occasions. The reviewers included 3 hand fellowship-trained surgeons and 1 orthopedist who was not fellowship-trained in hand surgery. A stage was assigned to each set of radiographs according to the Lichtman classification. Paired comparisons for reliability among the 4 observers showed an average absolute percentage agreement of 74% and an average paired weighted kappa coefficient of 0.71. Furthermore, all the controls were correctly classified as stage I, which is in accordance with the Lichtman system. With regard to reproducibility, observers duplicated their initial readings 79% of the time with an average weighted kappa coefficient of 0.77. These results indicate substantial reliability and reproducibility of the Lichtman classification for Kienbock's disease. Copyright (C) 2000 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-534
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Kienbock
  • Lichtman
  • Lunate
  • Radiographs
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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