Active finger extension: a simple movement predicting recovery of arm function in patients with acute stroke

Stroke. 2007 Mar;38(3):1088-90. doi: 10.1161/01.STR.0000258077.88064.a3. Epub 2007 Jan 25.


Background and purpose: Early prognosis of arm recovery is a major clinical issue in stroke. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of 4 simple bedside tests.

Methods: Forty-eight patients with arm paresis/plegia were evaluated on days 7, 14, 30, 90 and 180 after stroke. Assessment included 4 potential predictors of arm recovery (active finger extension, shoulder abduction, shoulder shrug and hand movement scales) and 3 outcome measures evaluating arm function (Nine Hole Peg Test, Fugl-Meyer arm subtest, Motricity Index arm subtest).

Results: The active finger extension scale was the most powerful prognostic factor. Patients with active finger extension scores >3 had a high probability of achieving good performance as assessed by the Motricity Index.

Conclusions: Active finger extension is a reliable early predictor of recovery of arm function in stroke patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arm / physiology
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Paresis / physiopathology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation