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Adductor Reflex
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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

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

Testing procedures

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stand to the side of the patient at the level of the proximal to mid-thigh.
  4. Localize the insertion of the shorter adductors.
  5. The adductors are typically relaxed but reinforcement procedures are often helpful with this technique.
  6. Place your second and third fingers or the patient’s second and third fingers over the previously localized adductor tendon.
  7. Allow the reflex hammer to swing loosely between your thumb and forefinger through a 45 to 60 degree arc.
  8. 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.
  9. Standardize your finger placement, size of the reflex hammer, and force if needed.
  10. 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.
  11. Repeat the procedure and document your findings.
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Section: Adductor Reflex
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