We have compared the finger hyperextensometer (Jobbins et al., 1978) and the scoring system of Carter and Wilkinson (1964), modified by Beighton et al. (1973), in the quantification of joint laxity in a population selected to demonstrate a wide range of joint movement. Both systems correlated well (P less than 0.001) with a 'global index' of joint laxity derived by adding the arcs of movement recorded at most joints in the body by the method of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (1965). The Carter and Wilkinson system produced better correlations and is the method of choice for assessing generalized joint laxity.
"The association of finger joint laxity on development of back pain in pregnancy might be as a reflection of general joint laxity in pregnancy and postpartum, which in turn reflects a constitutional weakness of connective tissue [2,29]. The concept that the degree of joint laxity of any one individual is generalized throughout the body and that the majority of the stiffness of the metacarpophalangeal joints of the hand is a result of the capsule ligament complex and not the muscle-tendon units supports this view , as well as reported high correlations between finger joint laxity and general joint mobility measures [27,31,32]. In parallel, a constitutional connective tissue weakness in the pelvic region is suggested as a cause in women presenting with genitourinary prolapse and urinary incontinence [33,34]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: General joint hypermobility is estimated to affect about 10% of the population and is a prerequisite of heritable connective tissue disorders where fragile connective tissue is a prominent feature. Pregnancy induced back pain is common whereas about 10% of women still have disabling pain several years after childbirth. The pathogenesis of the pain condition is uncertain, although several risk factors are suggested including general joint hypermobility. In the present study, the possible association of peripheral joint mobility in early pregnancy on the incidence of back pain with onset during pregnancy and persisting after childbirth was explored.
A cohort of 200 pregnant women recruited from antenatal health care clinics was assessed by questionnaire and clinical examination, including measurement of passive abduction of the left fourth finger, throughout pregnancy and at 13 weeks postpartum. Comparisons were made between women with and without back pain. Statistical tests used were chi2-test, t-test, Spearman correlation and multiple logistic regression.
In the cohort, the mean passive abduction angle of the left fourth finger increased from 40.1[degree sign] in early pregnancy to 41.8[degree sign] at the postpartum appointment. At the postpartum appointment, women in the back pain group had a significantly larger mean passive abduction angle of the left fourth finger of 4.4[degree sign], twice as many previous pregnancies and deliveries, and more than twice as frequent back pain in previous pregnancy, as compared with women with no persistent back pain. A similar pattern was displayed in late pregnancy. In a multiple regression analysis, the passive abduction angle of the left fourth finger in early pregnancy and the number of previous pregnancies were positively, significantly and independently associated to the incidence of back pain in late pregnancy and postpartum.
Finger joint laxity as a reflection of constitutional weakness of connective tissue and number of previous pregnancies were associated with the development of back pain induced in pregnancy and persisting after childbirth. These factors may provide a foundation for development of targeted prevention strategies, but this have to be confirmed in future research including measurement of general joint laxity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A postal questionnaire designed to assess joint laxity was sent to 364 specialist female teachers of physical education who had participated in a radiological survey on the lumbar spine. 295 replied and in this group the prevalence of spondylolisthesis was 4%. Although statistical analysis failed to demonstrate a significant association between generalized joint laxity, measured with a simple scoring system, and radiological spondylolisthesis, spondylolisthesis was found to correlate with known associations of joint laxity such as flat feet. Adults with spondylolisthesis considered themselves more supple in youth than adults without spondylolisthesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three hundred and sixty-four female specialist teachers of physical education who qualified between 1935 and 1950 agreed to have x-rays of the lumbar spine, hips and knees. Fifty-two has osteoarthrosis of the hip, 65 osteoarthrosis of the knee and 221 degenerative change in the spine. Overall osteoarthrosis of the knee was significantly less common than in a comparable sample from the general population (p < 0.001), severe or moderate osteoarthrosis being equally common in both groups but minor in minimal osteoarthrosis being much less common in the teachers. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of osteoarthrosis of the hip between the two populations though severe osteoarthrosis of the hip was slightly more common in the teachers.
British Journal of Sports Medicine 12/1980; 14(4):179-88. DOI:10.1136/bjsm.14.4.179 · 5.03 Impact Factor
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