In medicine, abduction refers to the movement of a body part away from the midline of the body. This term is often used in the context of joint movements, where abduction refers to the movement of a limb or other body part away from the center of the body.
For example, when a person lifts their arm out to the side, they are performing shoulder abduction. When a person spreads their fingers apart, they are performing finger abduction. Abduction can occur in many joints throughout the body, including the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle.
Abduction is one of several basic movements that the body can perform. The other primary movements include adduction (movement towards the midline of the body), flexion (bending), extension (straightening), and rotation.
In some cases, abnormal abduction or limited abduction can be a sign of injury, illness, or a neurological disorder. For example, limited abduction of the hip joint can be a symptom of hip joint arthritis or other hip disorders. Neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, can also cause abnormal patterns of movement, including abnormal abduction of the limbs. In clinical practice, doctors and physical therapists may assess a patient’s abduction ability to diagnose and monitor certain conditions.