Zero Method for the Recording of the Extension of the Movement

It is not enough to know only the whole extension of the movement, in which the movement is possible, for a description of a function of a limb or rather of any joint. A position of departure, from which the movement is done, is important. In the case of ankylosis and contractures we of course meet perversions from the physiological position. We can also describe these changes verbally, but it takes a lot of place and time simultaneously with a bad lucidity of this record. Therefore a method of measuring of the extension of the movement, and resting position of the limb by so-called neutral zero method was set up. It comes out from the condition that if a patient stands upright, lower limbs are parallel, arms are clapped to the body with thumbs forwards, the position of his/her joints is in the zero method, i.e. corresponding to zero degrees. If the joints in the resting position are not in this zero position8, then the position of departure corresponds to an angular deficit till the zero position.

With regarding to the necessity of the record of the extension of the movement for the practice when it is not advantageous to show the extension of each of the movements independently, at the examination we use the fact that all the movements of the shoulder girdle are made at three basic levels i.e. frontal, sagittal and transversal. Corresponding movements belong to these levels, see isolated movements. Values of the extension of the movement of joints are possible and suitable to be recorded in this way. During the recording a movement towards the body9 is presented in the first place. In the I. column there is recorded the type of the movement, in the II. column movements of the right limb are recorded, in the column III. movements of the left limb are recorded.


Extensions of movements in the glenohumeral articulation by the method of the zero position

l. column

II. column III. column
type of movement       for movements to the right        for movements to the left    
flexion/extension 90/0/40 90/0/40
adduction/abduction 20/0/90 20/0/90
inner rotation/outer rotation 90/0/80 90/0/80


8f. e. at mentioned ankylosis

9i. e. values of the extension of the flexion, abduction, inner rotation are in the first place, before the value of the zero position