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page image Start Page page image Index page image Glossary of Terms page image Resources page image
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Introduction
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Differences between health care settings and patient populations
A clinician working with a patient presenting with anticipated changes in the central nervous system may perform deep tendon reflexes as an ancillary test or as a confirmative measure. For example, the clinician accustomed to working with neurological populations will frequently assess passive range of motion of the limbs for changes in response to movement at different speeds, assess response to drop for rebound and uncontrolled movements, and then perform deep tendon reflex testing for verification and to record findings using a reflex intensity scale. In contrast, a clinician accustomed to working with orthopedic populations and patients presenting with anticipated changes in the peripheral nervous system will likely examine deep tendon reflexes as a primary and confirmative measure for dysfunction occurring at the spinal nerve root level or within a peripheral nerve. Cumulatively, it is best not to make assumptions based on setting or patient populations as they are a source of clinical errors in reasoning. For example, a patient who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident may have sustained both a traumatic brain injury and a spinal or peripheral nerve injury, or a patient may have both a CVA and arthritis which may contribute to peripheral or spinal nerve root lesions.
 
The reflex hammer
While there are a variety of reflex hammers on the market, the Taylor or tomahawk style reflex hammer, Queen Square or Babinski style reflex hammer, and the Buck reflex hammer are the most common.
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Section: Introduction
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