Extension is the process of straightening or stretching a limb. When used in the natural sense, it involves the contraction of the muscles opposing those used in FLEXION. In cases of fractured limbs (see BONE, DISORDERS OF – Bone fractures), extension is employed during the application of splints, in order to reduce the displacement caused by the fracture, and prevent movement of the broken ends of bone. It is eﬀected by gently and steadily pulling upon the part of the limb beyond the fracture. Extension of a more permanent type is used in the after-treatment of some fractures, as well as in diseases of the spine, by placing the patient upon an inclined bed and aﬃxing weights to his or her lower limbs, or to his or her head by means of adhesive plaster or of straps.
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary