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The Beighton score is a popular screening technique for hypermobility. This is a nine-point scale requiring 5 manoeuvres, four passive bilateral and one active unilateral performance. 


The Beighton score has subsequently been used internationally to define generalised joint laxity in all populations and all age groups. Most of the available prevalence studies used different cutoffs, ranging from >3 hypermobile joints to > 6 hypermobile joints of 9 assessed (both thumbs, both little fingers, both elbows, both knees and the trunk). In some, only the dominant side was evaluated. The most frequent choice of cutoff was > 4 hypermobile joints. 

Components of the Beighton scale

1. Passive dorsiflexion and hyperextension of the fifth MCP joint beyond 90°     1     1
2. Passive apposition of the thumb to the flexor aspect of the forearm     1     1
3. Passive hyperextension of the elbow beyond 10°     1     1
4. Passive hyperextension of the knee beyond 10°     1     1
5. Active forward flexion of the trunk with the knees fully extended so that the palms of the hands rest flat on the floor     1      1

The first four elements can be given a maximum score of 2 because these are performed bilaterally. The last element is scored with 0 or 1. 

The maximum score for ligament laxity is 9. A score of 9 means hyper-lax. A score of zero is tight. Several researchers appoint a score of 0-3 as normal and a score of 4-9 as representing ligamentous laxity.

The Beighton Score | Generalized Joint Hypermobility (Laxity)

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