Purpose: Joint hypermobility is a condition in which synovial joints move beyond normal limits. Approximately 10-25% of children and 5-25% of adults experience hypermobility syndrome. One such hypermobility syndrome is an inherited connective tissue disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Typically, a score of 4-5 out of 9 on the Beighton scale is indicative of hypermobility in adults. Whereas 6 out of 9 is the criteria for children. No significant correlations were found between the systemic features of EDS and the Beighton score. The purpose of this pilot study was to see if an arthrometer could be used to provide quantitative values of joint laxity to differentiate between individuals diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome versus controls. Methods: A Mobil-Aider arthrometer was used to quantify anterior and inferior translation of the glenohumeral joint and anterior translation of the talocrural joint. Results: Thirteen control participants without EDS and 14 participants diagnosed by a physician with EDS participated. Significant between-group differences and medium to large effect sizes were found for all 3 motions. Conclusions: The Beighton score has known limitations as diagnostic criteria for hypermobility syndrome and EDS. Testing with an arthrometer may contribute objective data on the magnitude of hypermobility, not just dichotomous criteria. This clinical data may contribute to the clinical assessment of connective tissue disorders.

Author Bio(s)

Valerie Iovine, PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist at Strive Physical Therapy, Columbus, NJ, USA. Her clinical practice focuses on the examination and treatment of individuals with connective tissue disorders.

Dawn T Gulick, PhD, PT, AT, CSCS is a professor of physical therapy at Widener University, Chester, PA, USA. She is also a licensed athletic trainer and the inventor of the Mobil-Aider arthrometer.

Kerstin M. Palombaro, PhD, PT, CAPS is a professor of physical therapy at Widener University, Chester, PA, USA.


The authors wish to thank Erich Herkloz and John Walker of Strive Physical Therapy for their assistance in providing the facility to collect data.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.