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Bunnell Littler Test

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Other Names

  • Bunnell's intrinsic tightness test
  • Bunnell Littler Test
  • Finochietto-Bunnell Test


The Bunnel Litter Test[1]
  • Helps identify the source of PIP tension or flexion motion limitation by evaluating the intrinsic muscle or capsular tightness in the affected digit.
  • May also be used to determine osteoarthritis.


  • Locate and extend the MCP joint and flex the PIP joint. Take note of the range of motion of the affected digit.
  • Repeat the procedure but this time the MCP joint should be flexed.
  • Positive Test
    • Decreased motion, suggesting capsule contraction or osteoarthritis
    • No change in motion, sugests capsular restriction at PIP joint
    • Increased motion, lumbrical muscle tightness may be present


  • Osteoarthritis of the finger
  • Capsule contraction of PIP joint
  • Lumbrical muscle tightness


  • None

See Also


  1. Reinholdt, Carina, and Jan Fridén. "Selective release of the digital extensor hood to reduce intrinsic tightness in tetraplegia." Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery 45.2 (2011): 83-89.
Created by:
John Kiel on 22 July 2019 23:27:20
Last edited:
25 March 2023 06:54:51