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Joint Movement

Joint movements

  • Hypermobility is a common feature of normal development in healthy children i.e., the term reflects an increased range of movement compared to controls; it is more evident in younger children, females and certain ethnic populations (e.g., Indian children are more flexible than white caucasian children). 
  • More Information about hypermobility is given in the section on Normal Variants.
  • Different types of joint move in different planes.
    • Hip and shoulder are 'ball and socket' joints that optimise movement.
    • The knee and elbow are hinge joints. 
    • The ankle and wrist joints allow movement in several different directions.
  • Describing joint and limb movements
  • Abduction   Movement away from the mid-line of the body
  • Adduction   Movement towards the mid-line of the body
  • Extension    Straightening limbs at a joint
  • Flexion         Bending the limbs at a joint.
  • Rotation       A circular movement around a fixed point

Some examples of joint ranges of movement and how they are described 

Hand and Wrist - flexion and extension

Hand and Wrist - radial and ulnar deviation 

Wrist - supination and pronation Elbow - flexion and extension 

Shoulder - internal and external rotation in shoulder abduction 

Shoulder - abduction and glenohumeral rotation 

Hip - Abduction 

Hip - Extension 

Knee - flexion and extension 

Foot and ankle - inversion 

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