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Elbow Extension Sign

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Other Names

  • Elbow Extension Test


  • Test elbow range of motion


  • Patient can be seated or standing
  • Their forearm is supinated, and they are ranged from full flexion to full extension
  • A positive test
    • Inability to fully extend elbow


  • Elbow Fracture
  • Elbow Effusion



  • Appleboam et al[1]
    • Sensitivity: 96.8%
    • Specificity: 48.5%
    • LR+: 1.88
    • LR-: 0.06

Fracture + Effusion

  • Appleboam et al[1]
    • Sensitivity: 95.8
    • Specificity: 54.6
    • LR+: 2.11
    • LR-: 0.08

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Appelboam A, Reuben AD, Benger JR, Beech F, Dutson J, Haig S, Higinson I, Klein JA, Le Roux S, Saranga SSM, Taylor R, Vicery J, Powell RJ, Lloyd G. Elbow extension test to rule out elbow fracture: multicentre prospective validation and observational study of diagnostic accuracy in adults and children. BMJ. 2008;337;a2428
Created by:
John Kiel on 24 July 2019 23:22:08
Last edited:
28 March 2023 14:48:02