Active Knee Extension Test

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Original Editor - Wanda van Niekerk

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Purpose[edit | edit source]

The Active Knee Extension Test is used to assess hamstring muscle length and the range of active knee extension in the position of hip flexion. The hamstrings length has been associated with altered lordotic posture and increased incidence of lower limb injuries. [1]

Traditionally the length of hamstrings was measured by an SLR , however due to the pelvis movement without stabilisation, the hamstring length could no be isolated. The SLR applies tension to the sciatic nerve and hence is a key neurodynamic evaluation tool, as compared to the active knee extension test.


Technique[edit | edit source]

The subject is positioned on the examination table in supine, the lower limb that is'nt examined is positioned in stabilised on the support surface. The opposite limb is elevated so that the hip is in 90degrees of flexion and the knees are extended to reach a position perpendicular to the ground. A lag of 20degrees is considered normal from full extension, anything less than 20degrees is considered as hamstrings tightness. This range needs to be measure using a goniometer placed at the knee with the fulcrum at the lateral epicondyle, the stationary arm parallel to the thigh pointing to the greater trochanter and the moveable arm parallel to the leg pointing to the lateral malleoli.

Evidence[edit | edit source]

This test is highly reliable if the body positions are stabilised adequately.[2]This test has also been effective when administered by self, which is a self monitored version of the active knee extension test. [3]The interrater and intrarater reliability has been established among healthy adults.[4]

Resources

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. Norris CM, Matthews M. Inter-tester reliability of a self-monitored active knee extension test. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies. 2005 Oct 1;9(4):256-9.
  2. Gajdosik R, Lusin G. Hamstring muscle tightness: reliability of an active-knee-extension test. Physical therapy. 1983 Jul 1;63(7):1085-8.
  3. Norris CM, Matthews M. Inter-tester reliability of a self-monitored active knee extension test. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies. 2005 Oct 1;9(4):256-9.
  4. Olivencia O, Godinez GM, Dages J, Duda C, Kaplan K, Kolber MJ. THE RELIABILITY AND MINIMAL DETECTABLE CHANGE OF THE ELY AND ACTIVE KNEE EXTENSION TESTS. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2020 Oct;15(5):776.

Content to be added on Active Knee Extension test as part of musculoskeletal screening tests.