Hand Function Tests

orthopedic telegram channel orthopedic facebook page
 Hand Function Tests

What are the Hand Function Tests?

Hand Function Tests demonstrate motor and sensory deficits in the presence of nerve lesions.

Hand Function Tests include:

  1. Pinch Grip,
  2. Key Grip,
  3. Power Grip,
  4. Chuck Grip,
  5. Grip Strength.
See Also: Flexor Tendon Injury of the Hand

Pinch Grip Test

The patient is asked to pick up a small object between the thumb and the index finger.

Satisfactory performance requires intact sensation. The patient should repeat the test with his or her eyes closed.

Unimpaired function of the lumbricals and interossei muscles is essential for this maneuver. At an advanced stage of carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis of the saddle joint of the thumb, the ability to pinch is diminished or entirely lost.

The sensitivity ranged from 1.7 to 40%; in contrast, the specificity was high (94 to 100%).

Pinch Grip Test
Pinch Grip Test

Key Grip Test

The patient is asked to hold a key between the thumb and the side of the index finger in the normal manner.

A sensory deficit on the radial aspect of the index finger, such as can occur in a radial nerve lesion, or arthritis of the saddle joint of the thumb render the key grip impossible.

Key Grip Test
Key Grip Test

Power Grip Test

The patient is asked to hold onto a pencil with the thumb and fingers while the examiner attempts to pull the pencil away.

If finger flexion is restricted, the test is repeated using an object with a larger diameter.

In the presence of injuries to the median or ulnar nerve, full finger flexion is not possible and strength is limited, causing a positive power grip test.

Power Grip Test
Power Grip Test

Chuck Grip Test

This precision grip maneuver is evaluated by giving the patient a small ball and having him or her hold on to it tightly.

This maneuver tests the strength of adduction of the thumb and finger flexion, thus evaluating the median and ulnar nerves.

Chuck Grip Test

Grip Strength Test

The examiner pumps a rolled-up blood pressure cuff to 20 mm Hg (26.7 kPa) and then asks the patient to squeeze it as tightly as possible.

Patients with normal hand function should attain a value of 200 mm Hg (about 26.7 kPa) or more. The diffierent strengths of men, women and children must be taken into account.

This test should be performed with each hand for comparative evaluation.

The sensitivity and specificity for this test ranged between 1.7 to 65.7% and 65.2 to 100%, respectively.

Grip Strength Test
Grip Strength Test


  1. Mahbub MH, Kurozawa Y, Ishitake T, Kume Y, Miyashita K, Sakakibara H, Sato S, Toibana N, Harada N. A systematic review of diagnostic performance of quantitative tests to assess musculoskeletal disorders in hand-arm vibration syndrome. Ind Health. 2015;53(5):391-7. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2014-0221. Epub 2015 Jun 6. PMID: 26051288; PMCID: PMC4591131.
  2. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.
  3. Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, And Intervention 3rd Edition.

Share with Friends:

Read Also:

Related Tests

Piano Key Sign

Piano Key Sign is used to evaluate the stability of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) and triangular fibrocartilage…

Gamekeeper Test

Gamekeeper Test (or skier's thumb) is used to evaluate the Ulnar collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP joint)…

Phalen Test

Phalen Test (wrist flexion sign) is used to evaluate the median nerve compression in the case of Carpal…

See Also:

Latest from Orthofixar

Kohler’s Disease

Kohler's Disease (or Osteochondrosis of the tarsal navicular) is an avascular necrosis of the navicular bone of the…

Forearm Muscles Anatomy

The forearm muscles, wrist, and hand can be subdivided into 19 intrinsic muscles and 24 extrinsic muscles.

Radial Nerve Entrapment

A number of radial nerve entrapments are recognized and are named according to the location at which they…

Skeletal Traction

Skeletal Traction is a temporary treatment method used in emergency department in some type of lower extremity fractures.

Special Tests App

Special Test Application
Special Test Application