|Test to be performed - Achilles tendon reflex with the patient positioned in sitting
Expected findings - Palpable and/or observe a visible contraction of the calf, slight to moderate ankle plantar flexion, and equivalent reactivity when compared to the contralateral extremity
Equipment - Non-latex Taylor (i.e., tomahawk style hammer) or neurological reflex hammer
- The foot should be visible and the leg must be free of restrictive clothing (i.e., a tightly rolled up pant leg).
- Have the patient sit on the examination table with his or her feet dangling above the floor.
- Stand in front and lateral to the patient.
- Localize the Achilles tendon.
- Gently dorsiflex the foot at the ankle and position the joint at approximately 90 degrees or until slight resistance is felt.
- Allow the reflex hammer to swing loosely between your thumb and forefinger through a 45 to 60 degree arc, while making certain the hammer moves in a horizontal plane (i.e., broad end of the reflex hammer is perpendicular to the tendon).
- Strike the tendon just above the calcaneus at the level of the malleoli.
- Standardize the size of reflex hammer used and force if needed.
- Palpate and visually observe the response to the provided stimulus (i.e., contraction of the calf and ankle plantar flexion).
- Repeat the procedure.
- Document your findings.