Name of test

Wrist extension

What it tests

Extensor carpi radialis longus

Extensor carpi radialis brevis

How to do it

With the patient’s fingers flexed and the forearm pronated, extend the wrist. Push down on the knuckle of the index finger as the patient resists with radial wrist extensor activity.

The normal response

Grade 5 strength. The examiner is unable to break wrist extensor strenght.

What it means if not normal


The extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis are innevervated by the radial nerve (C6-C7).

The patient’s fingers are in flexed to eliminate wrist extension activity generated by the finger extensor muscles.

A C6 radiculopathy is the most common because the C5-C6 disk is the cervical disk most susceptible to herniation or degeneration.


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