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Triceps Brachii Reflex
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Test to be performed - Triceps brachii reflex examination with the patient positioned in sitting

Expected findings - Palpable and/or a visible contraction of the triceps and slight elbow extension, as well as equivalent triceps brachii reactivity when compared to the contralateral extremity

Equipment - Non-latex Taylor (i.e., tomahawk style hammer) or neurological reflex hammer

Testing procedures

  1. The elbow region should be visible and the proximal arm must be free of restrictive clothing (i.e., a tightly rolled up shirt sleeve).
  2. With the patient seated or standing, support his or her distal arm and allow the elbow to hang freely in approximately 90 degrees of elbow flexion.
  3. Stand in back and slightly to the side of the extremity being tested.
  4. Localize the triceps tendon.
  5. The triceps muscle is typically relaxed, but reinforcement procedures can be used if needed.
  6. Allow the reflex hammer to swing loosely between your thumb and forefinger through a 45 to 60 degree arc.
  7. Strike the dorsal side of the distal arm about 2 cm above the olecranon process with the base of the reflex hammer positioned perpendicular to the tendon.
  8. Standardize the size of the reflex hammer and force if needed.
  9. Palpate and visually observe the response to the provided stimulus (i.e., elbow extension).
  10. Repeat the procedure.
  11. Document your findings.
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Section: Triceps Brachii Reflex
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