Terms and Abbreviations Used on the HTCE

Every effort has been made to provide standardized vocabulary in preparing this examination by following the recommendations published in Barton, N. “Guide to Terminology for Hand Surgery: Report of the Nomenclature Committee,” Journal of Hand Surgery, Vol. 8, No. 5, Part 2, 814-828, 1983.


The following abbreviations have been used. Other terms and anatomical names are used in the examination without abbreviation.

  • Abductor Digiti Minimi (ADM)
  • Abductor Pollicis Brevis (APB)
  • Abductor Pollicis Longus (APL)
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
  • Active Range of Motion (AROM)
  • Carpometacarpal Joint (CMC Joint)
  • Continuous Passive Motion (CPM)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Distal Interphalangeal Joint (DIP Joint)
  • Dorsal Intercalated Segment Instability (DISI)
  • Distal Radioulnar Joint (DRUJ)
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB)
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus (ECRL)
  • Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU)
  • Extensor Digiti Minimi (EDM)
  • Extensor Digitorum Communis (EDC)
  • Extensor Indicis Propius (EIP)
  • Extensor Pollicis Longus (EPL)
  • Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)
  • Flexor Carpi Radialis (FCR)
  • Flexor Carpi Ulnaris (FCU)
  • Flexor Digitorum Profundus (FDP)
  • Flexor Digitorum Superficialis (FDS)
  • Flexor Pollicis Brevis (FPB)
  • Flexor Pollicis Longus (FPL)
  • Interphalangeal joint (IP joint) (indication given if of the thumb)
  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint (MP Joint)
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
  • Oblique Retinacular Ligament (ORL)
  • Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF)
  • Passive Range of Motion (PROM)
  • Proximal Interphalangeal Joint (PIP Joint)
  • Pronator Teres (PT)
  • Radial Collateral Ligament (RCL)
  • Range of Motion (ROM)
  • Scaphotrapezium-Trapezoid Joint Fusion (STT Fusion)
  • Total Active Motion (TAM)
  • Total Passive Motion (TPM)
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex of the Wrist (TFCC)
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL)
  • Volar Intercalated Segment Instability (VISI)


For items involving temperature, Fahrenheit is given followed by Celsius in parenthesis.

Expression of Range of Motion

For the purposes of this examination, ROM is expressed with extension/flexion. Hyperextension will be described, rather than expressed as a number (e.g. “there is 10° of hyperextension present at the PIP joint.”) A lack of extension is shown as a number without a minus sign. For example:

Total Active Motion
MP Joint
PIP Joint
DIP Joint

Muscle Grading

For items involving grades of muscle strength, the following grading system, with both alpha and numeric designations, will be used:

  • Normal (5)
  • Good (4)
  • Fair (3)
  • Poor (2)
  • Trace (1)
  • Absent (0)