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Synonym: Extensio
Latin: extendere - to extend, to stretch
German: Extension

1 Definition

The term extension describes an actively or passively executed movement of stretching respectively extending a joint. The extension is the contrary movement of the flexion and results characteristically in a straightening of the corresponding part of the body.

2 Background

Referring to a few special movements (e.g. the joint in areas of the foot), a determination of flexion and extension can not be made that easily as the flexion can result in a "straighter" position of the extremity as the extension (e.g. equinus position). Accordingly, this movement should be described as extension, which enables, assumpting the resting position, the smaller angle of motion.

However this systematics can not be persevered in all cases as for example in cases of movements of hands and feet. Movements in direction of the back of the hand respectively the foot are described frequently as dorsalflexion, even though the more correct description would be the extension. The extension of the arm concerning the shoulder joint is also referred to as retroversion.

The term "extension" is occuring occaionsally in composed terms, which are additionally defining the direction of motion of the extension, as for example the term dorsalextension.

Specialties: Anatomy

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