Limbs Hyperextensibility

Definition Greater range of motion of joints than normally seen for age.

Diagnosis Determination of hypermobility in adults and adolescents can be assessed using the scale derived by Beighton and Wolf (Beighton et al., 1989). A score of 5/9 or greater defines hypermobility:

• Passive dorsiflexion of the little fingers beyond 90 degrees from the horizontal plane. One point for each hand.

• Passive apposition of the thumbs to the flexor aspect of the forearm. One point for each hand.

• Hyperextension of the elbows beyond 10 degrees. One point for each elbow.

• Hyperextension of the knees beyond 10 degrees. One point for each knee.

• Forward flexion of the trunk with knees fully extended so the palms of the hand rest flat on the floor. One point.

Remarks Approximately 5 percent of the population is hyperextensible. More than twice as many females as males have increased range of motion of joints. Young children and adolescents seem particularly prone to hyperextensible joints and may develop arthralgias, particularly in the knees and fingers.

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