B is for Bohler’s Angle

October 31, 2022

Bohler’s angle is an angle measured on a lateral x-ray of the calcaneus to assess a possible fracture.

Bohler’s angle is a measurement used in radiology to assess the integrity of the calcaneus bone, specifically to evaluate fractures or deformities. It is measured on a lateral X-ray view of the foot and involves the use of two reference lines and a specific angle.

Measuring Bohler’s angle on an X-ray:

  1. Obtain a Lateral X-ray: Begin by acquiring a lateral X-ray view of the foot, specifically focusing on the calcaneus bone. The X-ray should capture the full profile of the bone from the back of the heel to the front.
  2. Identify the Reference Lines: Identify two reference lines that will be used for the measurement. The first line, called Line A, is drawn along the superior surface of the calcaneus, passing through the highest point (tuberosity) at the back of the bone. The second line, called Line B, is drawn along the inferior surface of the calcaneus, connecting the lowest points at the back and front of the bone.
  3. Measure the Angle: Once the reference lines are established, measure the angle formed between them. This angle represents Bohler’s angle. It is measured using a protractor or angle-measuring tool. The apex of the angle is located at the highest point of the calcaneal tuberosity (intersection of Line A), and the two arms of the angle extend along Line A and Line B.
  4. Interpretation: Bohler’s angle is normally between 20 and 40 degrees. If the angle measures below 20 degrees, it may indicate a fracture or collapse of the posterior facet of the calcaneus, as seen in calcaneal fractures or deformities. This could be associated with injuries such as an intraarticular calcaneal fracture or a subtalar joint dislocation.

Measuring Bohler’s angle requires proper training and expertise in radiology. The measurement should be interpreted in conjunction with other clinical findings and imaging studies to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. If you have any concerns or questions about specific X-ray measurements, it is best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a radiologist or orthopedic specialist, who can provide an accurate interpretation and guide you through the diagnostic process.


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