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Is this a normal medical exam?

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have a question that has been bugging me since I saw a new ortho spine specialist new to my area.
I was tired of the long commutes to the University Hospital so I decided to try this new local Dr.
I have had many neurological exams that go along with my diagnosis of myelopathy ,stenosis,etc.
He was checking my reflexes but did not use the hammer(I don't know what its called). He flicked my knees and elbows with his fingers like he was flicking away a bug. He told me my reflexes were normal . Has anyone ever had this done and is this an acceptable exam?


  • I know part of an exam can be done with percussion tapping a joint to feel for dullness or fluids so not sure if he was doing that? Part of the exam should be checking hand grips strength and leg strength and by watching the way you walk. Usually the Drs use a hammer to check reflexes unless he's able to bring on a reflex response with his hand. Did your arm jump or leg jump when he flicked? Is he an Ortho Dr? If he didn't evoke a jerk response I don't know how he checked your reflexes. I hope someone has better answers for you but hope you get a second opinion if you're unsure of his exam. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Yes, I have had spinal specialists at a new patient exam check my reflexes without using a hammer. At the time I thought it was unusual, as I've never had other specialists do it that way...but then another spinal specialist did it, too....so I guess they are just so good, they don't need to use a hammer.... ;)
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  • Funny thing is that the Neurologist,Neurosurgeon and Physiatrist and the University Hospital used the hammer tool. This guy is an ortho and used his middle finger to check for reflexes. I just wonder how valid the exam was since everyone else charted hyperflexia.
  • I've had it done both ways too.

    I also had one guy go get a hammer when he could not get a reflex without it. Muttered something under his breath, I never did get a straight answer out of him as to what he thought about needing the hammer.
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