|Test to be performed - Adductor reflex (longus and brevis) examination with the patient positioned in supine
Expected findings - Palpable and/or observable contraction of the hip adductors, as well as equivalent reactivity when compared to the contralateral extremity
Non-latex Taylor (i.e., tomahawk style hammer) or neurological reflex hammer
- The proximal thigh must be readily palpated, free of restrictive clothing (i.e., a tightly rolled up pant leg), and draped with a sheet or similar item to preserve patient modesty and comfort.
- Position the patient in supine with the hip to be examined in about 45 degrees of flexion and slight abduction; the leg is supported by a bolster or the clinician.
- Stand to the side of the patient at the level of the proximal to mid-thigh.
- Localize the insertion of the shorter adductors.
- The adductors are typically relaxed but reinforcement procedures are often helpful with this technique.
- Place your second and third fingers or the patient’s second and third fingers over the previously localized adductor tendon.
- Allow the reflex hammer to swing loosely between your thumb and forefinger through a 45 to 60 degree arc.
- Strike your fingers, the patient’s fingers, or both (i.e., clinician's hand over patient's hand) with the broad end of the reflex hammer.
- Standardize your finger placement, size of the reflex hammer, and force if needed.
- Palpate and visually observe the response to the provided stimulus (i.e., hip adduction); you should be able to palpate a response even if you cannot see it.
- Repeat the procedure and document your findings.