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Pronunciation: eks-ten'shun


  1. The act of bringing the distal portion of a joint in continuity (although only parallel) with the long axis of the proximal portion.
  2. A pulling or dragging force exerted on a limb in a distal direction.
  3. The movement produced by contraction of one or more extensor muscles; it generally results in the straightening of a limb; axial traction that generally lengthens a limb or straightens the trunk; the opposite or antagonistic movement of flexion.
  4. Obsolete term for traction.

[L. extensus, past part. of extendere, to stretch out, extend]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.