Elson's Test: Extensor Tendon Test

The Elson test is a diagnostic test used for early detection of injuries to the central slip of the extensor tendon.

Purpose

Injuries to the central slip of the extensor tendon of the hand can easily be missed until the Boutonniere Deformity sets in, with its associated functional limitations. The Elson test is a diagnostic test used for early detection of injuries to the central slip of the extensor tendon.

Elson's Test

Technique

Have the patient rest their hand on a table, with the PIP joint of the involved finger flexed to 90 degrees over the edge of the table.

Palpate the middle phalanx of the involved finger, then ask the patient to extend the PIP while providing some resistance.

Interpretation

Test is POSITIVE if the patient has a weak extension at the PIP joint with (hyper)extension at the DIP.

Test is NEGATIVE if the patient has strong extension at the PIP joint, while the DIP remains floppy.

Elson's Test

Evidence

A cadaveric analysis of four non-invasive tests for central slip integrity found that Elson's Test was the only one to accurately discern central slip integrity in simulated injuries.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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