Reliability of Beighton’s Score in a Pediatric Population

Volume 3 | Issue 1 | Jan-Jun 2017 | Page 9-11 | Nimesh G Patel, Peter Riddlestone, Roshan Gunalan, Anthony Gough, James Metcalfe, Ben Holroyd

Authors : Nimesh G Patel [1], Peter Riddlestone [1], Roshan Gunalan [1], Anthony Gough [1], James Metcalfe [1], Ben Holroyd [1].

[1] Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Nimesh Patel,
Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics Derriford Hospital Plymouth, UK


Introduction: Beighton’s score (BS) is a valid screening tool in an adult population, but its use in pediatrics to assess generalized joint mobility is not fully validated. The correlation of hypermobility and joint pain in children is also not fully understood. We, therefore, aim to investigate the reliability of BS in the pediatric population.
Materials and Methods: Over a 3-month period, children presenting to our pediatric orthopedic unit had their BS measured by a trained orthopedic surgeon. Non-ambulatory children were excluded, as were those with known hypermobility syndrome or neuromuscular disorders.We also screened them for joint pain and measured their lower limb rotational profile.
Results: A total of 200 patients (92 males and 108 females) were assessed, aged between 3 and 15 years (mean 10.1). Mean standard deviation (SD) BS was 2.06 (2.2), and the range was 0–8. Comparing males versus females, mean BS SD was 1.71 (2.25) versus 2.36 (2.14); p=0.0378, age was 9.75 versus 10.13, and BS range was 0–7 versus 0–8.64 children (32%) complained of pain in at least one joint, though the mean SD BS in these patients was 1.71 (1.86).
Discussion: We found that the average BS was just over 2 in all of our children, though significantly lower in males.In adults, a score of 4 or higher has been attributed to generalized hypermobility, though a true diagnostic cutoff has not been defined in children.Since there is already an innate tendency to have an increased BS in normal children, it makes interpretation of the score in a pediatric population difficult and less meaningful.Of note, there was no correlation between arthralgia and a high BS or abnormal lower limb rotational profile. We therefore do not recommend routine measurement of BS to diagnose hypermobility in a pediatric population.
Keywords: Beighton’s score, hypermobility, joint laxity, pediatric population


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How to Cite this Article: Patel N G, Riddlestone P, Gunalan R, Gough A, Metcalfe J, Holroyd B.Reliability of Beighton’s Score in a Pediatric Population. International Journal of Paediatric Orthopaedics Jan-June 2017;3(1):9-11.

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