|Test to be performed -
Biceps brachii reflex examination with the patient positioned in sitting
Expected findings -
Palpable and visible contraction of the biceps and slight elbow flexion, as well as equivalent biceps reflex activity when compared to the contralateral extremity
Non-latex Taylor (i.e., tomahawk style hammer) or neurological reflex hammer
- The elbow region should be visible and the proximal arm must be free of restrictive clothing (i.e., a tightly rolled shirt sleeve).
- Stand in front and to the side of the extremity to be examined.
- With the patient seated, allow the patient’s forearm to rest on their thigh with the elbow positioned in approximately 90 degrees of flexion and the forearm in about 40 degrees of supination.
- Localize the biceps tendon.
- Place your second or third finger firmly on the biceps tendon.
- The biceps muscle is typically relaxed, but reinforcement procedures can be used if needed.
- Allow the reflex hammer to swing loosely between your thumb and forefinger through a 45 to 60 degree arc.
- Strike your palpating finger with the base of the reflex hammer and make certain the force of the hammer is directed into the biceps tendon.
- Standardize your finger placement on the biceps tendon, the size of the reflex hammer used, and force if needed.
- Palpate and visually observe the response to the provided stimulus (i.e., contraction of the biceps and slight elbow flexion).
- Repeat the procedure and document your findings.