Hip Assessment

Ely's Test | Rectus Femoris Contracture | Rectus Femoris Length

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Ely's Test

Ely’s Test | Rectus Femoris Contracture | Rectus Femoris Length

The Ely’s Test is an orthopedic muscle length test to assess the flexibility of the rectus femoris muscle which runs from the anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS) to the tibial tuberosity, thus crossing the hip and knee joint. Peeler et al. (2008) have evaluated the tests’ intra-and inter-rater reliability. When the test was scored as either positive or negative intra-rater k was 0.52, with an inter-rater k of 0.46, which means that the reliability is moderate. When a goniometer was used, the intra-rater ICC was 0.69 and inter-rater ICC 0.66, so slightly better.

To perform the test, the patient is in prone lying position. Then, the examiner passively flexes the patient’s knee maximally.
This test is scored positive, if the the patient spontaneously flexes the hip upon maximal knee flexion to compensate for a shortened rectus femoris at the knee or experiences pain during the test

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Other common muscle length tests are:

 

References

Peeler J, Anderson JE. Reliability of the Ely’s test for assessing rectus femoris muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 2008 Jun;26(6):793-9.

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