A Modification of Elson's Test for the Diagnosis of an Acute Extensor Central Slip Injury

Ton A.R. Schreuders*, Johannes N.M. Soeters, Steven E.R. Hovius, Henk J. Stam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)


When testing for an extensor tendon central slip lesion at the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint, it is proposed that the affected finger should be compared with the non-injured finger of the other hand. In this modified Elson's test, the injured finger is flexed at about 90 degrees in the PIP joint and pushed against the dorsal side of the midphalanx of the same finger of the non-injured hand. Once in this position, the patient is asked to extend the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints. The finger with a central slip lesion will be able to extend the distal phalanx more than the non-injured distal phalanx.The difference between the extension at the DIP joint of the injured and noninjured hand is easily observed. Asymmetrical position of the two distal phalanges in an effort to extend the distal phalanges suggests that the central slip is not in continuity. If the two fingers remain in a symmetrical position when trying to extend the distal phalanges, a central slip lesion is highly unlikely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-113
Number of pages2
JournalHand Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

© British Association of Hand Therapy Ltd

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  • EMC MUSC-01-46-01


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